Yesterday’s staggering announcement that manufacturing icon Pacific Brands will sack 1,850 workers and shift production offshore is just the latest indication that Kevin Rudd’s promise the country will continue to “make things” is an empty one. Australian manufacturing is now on life support but blaming the global financial crisis for the lay-offs could prove a furphy — in reality, the non-resources sector of the Australian economy has been in decline for years.

Malcolm Turnbull should now be on a war footing — the government’s cash splash is looking increasingly like a turkey. And although official projections say the unemployment rate will climb to 7% by June next year, influential commentators are now claiming 11%, or around 800,000 Australians, will be out of work as the global recession takes hold. But as Crikey has been at pains to point out, the real unemployment rate is in fact much higher, with 2 million Australians likely to be unemployed or underemployed if the dire trend continues.

Glenn Stevens likes to claim that the Reserve Bank is “ahead of the curve” on cutting interest rates and here at Crikey we’ve been following the jobs fallout since early January. Today, there’s much more:

Have you or someone you know 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. 

Blake Dawson Waldron: Around 100 or more lawyers and support staff to be shown the door today, confirming earlier reports.

Pacific Brands: 1850 blue collar workers told their time is up, despite former CEO Paul Moore receiving pay outs totaling $17 million when the firm re-listed on the ASX in 2004 following a disastrous private equity buyout.

Lonely Planet: 50 jobs, or 10% of its workforce, hived off, mostly from its online division, as revealed by Crikey yesterday. While previous layoffs have been confined to peripheral support staff, insiders say a number of loyal long-termers were given their marching orders yesterday.

Lend Lease: Property developer said it was slashing 1,700 jobs worldwide and around 350 in Australia.

Boart Longyear: 2000 jobs scrapped despite delivering a 92.3% rise in profit in the 12 months to 31 December, jumping to $156.7 million.

Telstra: Departing CEO Sol Trujillo’s legacy set to live on with plans to remove 4000 permanent employees and 10,000 contractors still on the drawing board. Previously, the company had created a blueprint to lay off 12,000 staff by 2012.

Drivetrain Systems International: Stricken Albury-based car parts manufacturer has sacked another 229 employees, after previously announcing 400 lay-offs. The remaining 167 workers are on temporary contracts.

ACP: Over 30 staff have been cut from ACP’s women’s titles, ahead of a major restructure of its sales force, according to B&T.

APN News & Media: 600 jobs slashed over the past three years.

Photon Group: The marketing services firm retrenches 129 people, or 5%, of its local workforce.

Fairfax: More job cuts mooted in Australia and New Zealand, with the old media company forced to tap the market today for fresh funds. Fairfax sacked 550 staff last year as part of its ‘Business Improvement Program’.

GHD: The engineering firm has cut staff by 600 across its Australian operations, including 100 staff in Sydney, 100 in Melbourne and close to 100 in Brisbane.

EDS Australia: Close to 500 staff cuts since November with another 400 names being pulled from the hat for execution in the next month or so.

Australian Taxation Office: 143 workers at its Melbourne office have had their contracts terminated to cut costs to add to 133 regionally-based jobs already eliminated.

Melba Industries: 170 jobs on the chopping block with the essential services clothing contractor placed in administration

Hassell: Architectural design and drafting firm Hassell has made 40 workers redundant out of a total workforce of about 200 in Sydney, according to a source.

National Foods: 10 full-time and part-time workers at the Timboon Farmhouse Cheese factory

Codan: The Adelaide satellite equipment maker has cut 24 jobs in a tanking market.

BHP Billiton: Staff numbers reduced by 40% at its gleaming headquarters in Melbourne’s Lonsdale Street. By the end of June, only 350 staff will remain, down from around 600 when the new HQ was built.

Anglo American: 1,000 extra jobs to go across its global operations. The losses come in addition to 10,000 cuts announced previously in its platinum division.

WA resources sector: 10,000 more jobs to be lost over the next 18 months, according to BIS Schrapnel, to add to significant cut backs at BHP and Rio Tinto.

Melbourne’s Southern Star Observation Wheel: 90 staff offered packages after the $100 million Docklands white elephant was shutdown indefinitely when it buckled in Melbourne’s recent heatwave.