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Families are paying just under $300 a month to fuel the car at the bowser, with gas prices just below March’s record high.

The Australian Petroleum Institute said on Monday the national average price for unleaded petrol rose by one cent to 212.1 cents per liter last week.

The figure was a fraction below the March 20 record of 212.5c/l, with pump prices hitting record highs in Melbourne (229.3c/l) and Darwin (209.8c/l).

CommSec estimates that it costs the average family $296.94 per month to fill up on gas, up $74.76 per month from the start of the year.

MotorMouth recorded the following average retail prices for unleaded fuel: Sydney 200.0 c/l; Melbourne 230.0c/l; Brisbane 198.8 c/litre; Adelaide 191.1c/l; Perth 193.1c/l; Hobart 215.6 c/l; Darwin 209.8c/l and Canberra 220.0c/l.

Motorists have been advised to delay filling their tanks as prices are expected to drop.

Meanwhile, the National Skills Commission’s preliminary internet vacancy index rose 1.2% in June, with 303,434 vacancies announced last month – the highest level since April 2008.

Recruitment activity increased 29.3% in June compared to a year ago and is 80.3% (or approximately 135,200 vacancies) above pre-COVID levels.

CommSec’s Ryan Felsman said the result pointed to a strong June labor force figure, which is expected to be released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

Commonwealth Bank Group economists predict the creation of around 25,000 jobs in June, with the national unemployment rate falling from 3.9% to 3.8%, the lowest level since August 1974.

The government aims to combat a tight labor market as businesses and industry seek skilled workers.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced on Monday that a jobs and skills summit would be held on September 1-2 in Canberra.

Dr Chalmers said the summit would form part of the government’s economic plan, which would also include the October budget, the May 2023 budget and a jobs white paper drawn up over the next 12 months.

“We see the task of raising incomes and solving labor shortages and making the economy more productive and improving everyone’s lot…is the daily task that we are at. power,” Dr. Chalmers said.

Interim Opposition Leader Sussan Ley said the challenges to the economy were “well known”.

“Spare everyone the trip to Canberra and keep training Aussies,” she tweeted on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Commonwealth Bank’s Household Spending Intentions Index for June will be released, alongside the ABS Household Spending Indicator for May.

Also on Tuesday, the latest consumer confidence data will be released by ANZ-Roy Morgan and the Westpac-Melbourne Institute.

Surveys are expected to underscore consumer concern over rising inflation and rising interest rates.

National Australia Bank will release its June business survey on Tuesday with updates on confidence and conditions.

Confidence and conditions eased in May, but remain above their long-term averages, with employment conditions hitting a 10-month high.

Economists will examine the ABS’s March quarter construction activity report on Wednesday for the latest indications of housing starts and “work still to be done” estimates.

– PAA

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