The volume of job ads listed in Australia’s print and Internet classifieds increased for the first time in 18 months in August 2009, according to the latest data released by the ANZ Bank.

The number of job ads increased by 4.8 percent to 130,326, with a 4 percent jump recorded in Internet job ads and a 5.5 percent increase in print advertisements. It is the first monthly rise recorded in the country’s recruitment-classifieds market since April 2008 and comes on the back of a 1.7 percent fall over July. And despite the improvement, the total number of ads is still down by 48.1 percent on August 2008.

“These data provide the best evidence we have received to date that the labour market (and the economy more generally) are about to enter the recovery phase of this downturn,” ANZ Bank Head of Economics, Warren Hogan said.

However,  Hogan still expects that the country’s unemployment rate – which currently stands at 5.7 percent – will reach 7 percent some time in 2010.