After a three week hiatus, Crikey’s SackWatch is back in full swing with the temporary reprieve in bad economic news well and truly obliterated. Overnight, two venerable global institutions, the OECD and the World Bank, both issued relentlessly gloomy predictions for the year ahead and Australia won’t be spared.

The OECD report makes for grim reading — it predicts that the jobless rate in developed countries will soar to around 10% this year.

Currently, the country’s unemployment rate stands at 5.2%, with 54,000 full-time jobs lost in February. Leading economists say this will top 9% as the recession takes hold. Last night on Lateline, finance minister Lindsay Tanner hinted that Treasury predictions of 7% unemployment by the middle of next year may need to revised before Wayne Swan hands down his Budget in May.

Meanwhile, data released by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations this morning showed a 10.8% plunge in skilled vacancies in March, adding to falls of 11.7% in February and 11.2% in January.

Here’s the latest round of bad news from HR offices across the country. Click here to view our SackWatch mega-list which provides a comprehensive list of corporate carnage since the GFC began in earnest.

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:

AAPT: have slashed jobs in middle management and account mansagement in Australia, with roles shipped to the Philippines, according to a tipster

ANZ: poised to chop more than 50 roles from its financial planning arm, with the bulk of the jobs to be cut in NSW and Victoria. The lender’s back office function is also under threat with 500 jobs on the chopping block

Australia Zoo: Irwin-helmed Sunshine Coast attraction to sack 26 staff and stop expansion plans

Australian Bureau of Statistics: Will sack 200 staff over the next 12 months, as controversy swirls over its ability to maintain data accuracy amid the downturn

GeoScience Australia: 150 staff, about 20% of the agency’s workforce, have been told that their contracts will not be renewed when they expire in June this year

Bank of Queensland: cutting 150 jobs from Brisbane HQ, or 10% of its workforce, despite well paid CEO David Liddy remaining a member of Queensland Premier’s Anna Bligh’s “Job squad”

Bankwest: Parent Commonwealth Bank has confirmed its subsidiary will cut 400 jobs, including 250 in Western Australia, confirming a spate of tips sent to Crikey

Blake Dawson: More staff likely to go from the top-tier law firm, in addition to the 125 already laid off, with the final toll said to be close to 200

Boeing: 90 jobs lost from its Brisbane operations in addition to 500 workers already sacked from a subsidiary

Bradken: Wodonga steel foundry closed last month with 21 permanent staff let go

Centro Properties: 20 head office staff gone as part of debt stablisation plan, although senior executives appear to have escaped the carnage

Constellation Wines: More staff could go in addition to 350 staff already retrenched after parent company announced 5 per cent of its 9000-strong global workforce would go

EDS Australia: Fresh round of cuts with around 250 staff sacked in addition to 500 redundancies announced since November last year, as foreshadowed by Crikey

The finance sector: FSU says 6,768 jobs have been lost since the start of last year, with more to come

Geoscience Australia: Reportedly preparing to cut up to 150 Canberra-based temporary staff — about 20 per cent of the agency’s workforce

Google: Shutting its Melbourne office and consolidating local roles with 15 positions set to go

Hans Smallgoods: 400 workers at Sydney processing plant to lose their jobs after a buyer for the factory wasn’t forthcoming

Harvey Beef: West Australian meat exporter slashes 120 full-time and 40 contract positions from its Perth plant

Hatch: Engineering Consultants have let 200 engineers, draftys and other office staff go in Perth and Brisbane

Holden: Local employees on tenterhooks with 26,000 non-US job cuts mooted by parent General Motors before the end of 2009

Macmahon Holdings: WA contractor has axed 35 office staff

Macquarie Group: 30 gone from the Funds Management Group, 20 hived off from Macquarie Capital plus at least 100 others over the rest of the group. More mass redundancies are likely to add to the 1,000 staff already laid off

Maxitrans: Ballarat truck trailer says 54 of its 380 employees will be made redundant by the end of the week and has raised the possibility of further job losses

Myer: 100 staff made redundant as part of private equity-influenced cost-cutting drive

National Australia Bank: Retail banking roles slashed with at least 52 relief staff being laid of in southern states

NEC: Technology company set to axe about 100 jobs at its head office in Melbourne as part of 153 R&D roles to go across the country

News Limited: offering 50 redundancies at the Herald Sun as part of plan to combine all of News features under newly appointed national features boss Alan Oakley. Also Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun sports staff will go on seven-day roster, according to a tipster. Meanwhile, The Australian cut several production staff last week with high profile columnists D.D. McNicoll and Elizabeth Wynhausen called into editor Chris Mitchell’s office to be regaled with the bad news.

Qantas: 90 senior managers axed in order to save $24 million. Could be the calm before the storm with notorious union buster Leigh Clifford looming large on the airline’s board

Queensland Magnesium: 130 contract workers gone from its Kunwarara mine and Parkhurst processing plant in Rockhampton

Rio Tinto: Local jobs toll reaches 3,600 with 3,000 more positions on the chopping block if the Chinalco deal is nixed

Schlumberger: Graduate contracts at engineering firm retracted with no offer of pay out

Sensis: Telstra subsidiary has cut around 200 jobs from its head office in Melbourne

Sinclair Knight Merz: 10% of workforce made redundant, despite the company paying shareholders an almost 100% dividend on equity plus a 20% equity premium in December

SunRice: Will cut 36 jobs in the next six weeks from Leeton. SunRice says the workers will get all their entitlements

Sydney Trading Post: Significant job losses announced on Monday, according to a tipster

Transpacific Industries Group: Garbos told to take two weeks annual leave before June 30, effectively reduces their workforce from 7000 to 6000 for 14 weeks

Xstrata: 150 workers gone at its Handlebar Hill lead and zinc mine near Mt Isa, adding to job losses at other Queensland operations

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Peter Fray
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