The International Labour Organization released a devastating report overnight claiming 50 million workers could soon be on the scrapheap amid the worst global recession since the 1930s.

With Australia’s official unemployment rate at 4.5% and even conservative economists predicting a jump this year to at least 7%, it seems we’re up for some serious Centrelink frustration. And if you believe Gary Morgan (and Pauline Hanson), the real jobless rate is already sitting at over 6.4% with 700,000 Australians out of work — leading economists say the so-called ‘hidden rate’ could skyrocket to 13%, which would equate to another 700,000 Australians joining unofficial dole queues this year.

On Tuesday, an NAB survey of 400 mid to large-size companies said hiring intentions were at their lowest level since the early 1990s.

Australia clearly isn’t immune from the global carnage, as you can see in our inaugural Crikey SackWatch:

Wizard Home Loans: 50 back-office staff to go from parent company GE Money in transition to new ownership under Aussie Home Loans

BHP Billiton: 3400 locally and 6000 globally, with the possibility of more to come

Rio Tinto: 14,000 globally with 600 jobs slashed from its Perth office

Macarthur Coal: 180 jobs on the back of tumbling commodity prices

Oz Minerals: 70 jobs from its Cuddles mine

Xstrata: 230 workers and production staff shed at its Queensland coking coal mines

David Jones: 150 head office jobs cut alongside floor staff

Myer: Part-time hours repeatedly reduced by 20% with six full-timers sacked from the Geelong store

National Australia Bank: 120 jobs in its wealth management division in Melbourne and Sydney

PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 170 staff ousted yesterday to add to 40 cuts last November

BDO Kendalls: 12 accountants let go after end-of-year performance reviews

Pitcher Partners: 12 senior audit staff, although this was later denied by the firm

ANZ: 800 jobs in middle management

Macquarie Bank: 100 staff across its Australian investment arm

Suncorp: 1500 staff to go, according to internal memos

Westpac: 5000 jobs could be lost as part of the St George takeover

Axa Asia Pacific: 90 staff cuts announced in December

Fairfax: 550 Australasian jobs as part of last year’s ‘business improvement program’

News Limited: Six sport reporters joining more than 40 sacked HWT editorial staff across the country, according to a tip received yesterday

Qantas: 40 call centre jobs to add to 1500 sackings last year

Ford: 350 workers from its Geelong and Broadmeadows plants

Ford Credit Australia: 160 jobs as local operation pares back to bare-bone levels

Holden: Workers temporarily laid off for five weeks as production halted

Nissan: 50 staff from its Victorian aluminum casting plant

CSR: 115 jobs at its Geelong and Laverton automotive glass plants as production stops

Goodman Fielder: 400 staff set to go this year as bakeries close

Deacons: 15 property and finance lawyers

DLA Phillips Fox: 12 lawyers

Corrs Chambers Westgarth: 14 lawyers

Have you been sacked? Send your tales of job cut woe to [email protected] with “sackwatch” in the subject field and we’ll keep the list updated as a handy HR reference point.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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