Australian job advertisements fell in August as global financial instability discouraged companies from hiring, a private report showed.

Jobs advertised in newspapers and on the internet dropped 0.6 per cent last month, after a decrease of the same number in July, according to an Australia & New Zealand Banking Group report released yesterday.

“The declines in job advertising have been modest thus far,” Warren Hogan, chief economist at ANZ Bank, said. “This suggests a soft patch for economic growth associated with stagnant employment conditions, rather than a sharp slowdown that will drive a rapid rise in unemployment.”

Australia’s unemployment rate likely held at 5.1 per cent in August, a government report will show on Thursday, according to a Bloomberg survey of 24 economists, after rising in July for the first time since October 2010.

ANZ Bank, “has recently reviewed its employment forecasts and expect the unemployment rate to continue to drift up to around 5.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent over the next 12 months,” Hogan said.

National vacancies advertised in newspapers fell by 3 per cent in August, and internet notices slipped by 0.5 per cent, yesterday’s report showed.

The survey predicts that Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens will keep interest rates unchanged at 4.75 per cent when policy makers meet today.

– BLOOMBERG