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Job advertisements plummet, indicating a further decline in business confidence.

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Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

A sharp decline in the number of jobs advertised during the month of February is further evidence business confidence is falling under the new Rudd Labor Government.

The Olivier Job Index released today, which records the number of jobs advertised, fell for the first time in three years.

''Today's Olivier Job Index is another stinging blow to the credentials of the new Labor Government,'' Shadow Small Business Minister Steven Ciobo MP said.

''Almost all industries suffered a decline in the number of job advertisements, indicating employers are nervous and waiting to see what will happen under Labor.

''Trades and services were among the hardest hit falling 14.5 per cent, while hospitality, tourism and travel was down 7.5 per cent in February.

''The mining and tourism state of Queensland saw a drop of 10.6% in the number of internet advertisements last month despite 50% growth over the last year.

''With small business facing uncertainty about Labor's proposed changes to unfair dismissal, it isn't surprising business confidence is falling faster than business conditions.

''Labor's been in Government for more than 100 days yet they still have no clear position on unfair dismissal.

''There's no commitment from Labor that we're not going back to the days of ''go-away'' money.

''This is creating an uncertainty for small business, and when businesses are uncertain they stop employing people, potentially leading to a rise in unemployment.

''With concerns over the global economy mounting, Labor's inexperience is showing as it adopts a 'wait and see' approach to economic policy. Labor is playing with fire.

Mr Ciobo said today's figures follow the latest Sensis Business Index released last month, which saw the biggest fall in support for Federal Government policies in the history of the index.

''If trends continue we may very well be in negative territory, putting pressure on employers and placing Australian jobs at risk.''