Economists predict the living standards of Britain and the United States will fall by as much as 20 per cent, because of the economic downturn, according to a report in Saturday’s Australian Financial Review.
Mr Hockey said Australia was not in the same boat. “Australia is more closely linked with the Asian economies than it is with Europe and the United States,” he told the Nine Network. “(And) we are blessed … with very sound financial institutions.” Internet job ads fall Meanwhile, job advertisements on the internet fell in May but the fall was less severe than in previous months, according to the Olivier Job Index. The index fell 4.32 per cent in May, bringing the fall in Australian job ads to 51.90 per cent over the last 12 months. Olivier Group director Robert Olivier said that as in the broader economy, there were mixed messages, with some psychological comfort from “green shoots”. “The decline is less than previous months, and that fits with the other positive economic messages we’ve been hearing,” Mr Olivier said. According to the index, there were 16,850 additional job advertisements from the first to the final week of May. The only sector not to fall was advertising and media, which rose 11.86 per cent in May. Mr Olivier said that could indicate that businesses were trying to promote their way out of the slump before the end of the financial year. Worst hit sectors The worst hit sectors in May were engineering, which fell 8.46 per cent; human resources, with a fall of 6.76 per cent; administration, which dropped 6.5 per cent; and trades and services, which slumped 5.54 per cent. Full-time jobs fell 4.4 per cent, part-time jobs rose 5.3 per cent and temporary and contract positions were up 5.9 per cent. “Employers may be coming back into the market, wanting people, but not yet confident enough to add to their head count,” Mr Olivier said. He said that in June, employers traditionally set budgets and put in place recruitment plans, which may lead to a resurgence this month. The recent positive gross domestic products (GDP) figures, and optimistic retail trade data had added to confidence, which Mr Olivier said was the vital ingredient in the jobs market.