REFILE-Australian job advertisements rise 1.6% in August

(Corrects month of year in headline to August, not July)

SYDNEY, Sept 7 (Reuters) - Australian job advertisements rose for a third straight month in August though at a more moderate pace with the second most populous state of Victoria in a coronavirus lockdown.

Monday’s figures from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group showed total job ads climbed by 1.6% to an average 109,103, up from a low of 63,939 in May.

Ads had bounced 41% in June and 19.1% in July following a record plunge of 53.1% in April when the first wave of lockdowns hit.

Despite the bounce, ads were still down 30% on August last year.

“We expect outright falls in national employment in August and September,” ANZ Senior Economist, Catherine Birch said.

“Q4 is also looking worrying, given the amount of fiscal support to workers, businesses and households scheduled to be withdrawn, particularly with Victoria only gradually emerging from lockdowns.”

The national unemployment rate is at a 22-year high of 7.5% with policymakers warning it would climb to 10% later this year.

The ANZ vacancies series is closely watched by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) as it counts actual job ads, while Australian Bureau of Statistics data is based on intentions by firms to hire.

Since mid-March, the RBA has slashed rates to a record low of 0.25%, launched an unlimited bond buying programme while offering cheap funding to banks to keep borrowing costs down and cushion the economic blow from the pandemic. (Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)