Australia's leading indicator of employment declined further to minus 0.579 in April from minus 0.336 in March, a report by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations or DEEWR said Wednesday. The indicator has declined for the 16th consecutive month in April.

The indicator continues to confirm a slowdown in the pace of employment growth below its long-term trend of 2.3% per annum, the DEEWR said in a statement.

Of the four main sub components, the ANZ newspaper job advertisements was the main contributor to the fall in the leading indicator in April, followed by the Westpac-Melbourne Institute leading index of economic activity and the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index. However, the Dun and Bradstreet Employment Expectations made a positive contribution to the leading indicator.

Further, the department said cyclical employment has now fallen for the twelfth consecutive month, with the pace of decline in cyclical employment and the leading indicator quickening in recent months.