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The series, which sums up newspaper and internet advertisements, fell 1.4% in June, after a 3% rise in May.
ANZ-National Bank senior economist Sharon Zollner said the monthly fall was driven by both a 7.7% fall in newspaper job advertisements and a 0.2% fall in internet listings - both seasonally adjusted.
The composite total, which weighted newspaper advertisements more heavily to give a better indicator for the unemployment rate, fell 3.9%.
The composite job series had been calibrated to match changes in the unemployment rate as closely as possible, she said. The calibration placed more weight on newspaper advertisements by five to one. Over time, internet job advertising had taken market share from newspapers, but not by 1:1. For example, one newspaper advertisement had been replaced by several cheaper internet advertisements, often listed on multiple sites.
The 3.9% fall in June of the composite measure meant the annual change in the three-month average deteriorated slightly, Ms Zollner said. However, it remained close to zero and meant the job ads data was consistent with an unemployment rate close to 6.5% over the next six months.
"Job ads of today are the physical employment of tomorrow," she said.
The Otago Daily Times is one of the newspapers used in the survey.