When yesterday’s unemployment data lobbed mid-morning, online media outlets were set scrambling with the wholly unexpected news that the economy had added nearly 50,000 full-time jobs in April.

Predictably, Julia Gillard shot into action, harnessing the labour force data as evidence that her government’s policies were hitting home.

But as we reported yesterday, there remains enormous scepticism over the ABS’s minuscule 0.24% sample size. The overall trend data was more important, economists said, with leading lights Riki Polygenis and Shane Oliver suggesting “anecdotal evidence” could have more weight than official stats.

Even Gillard was sanguine, later claiming that we shouldn’t get “carried away” with the announcement. Across the board, earlier predictions of an 8% job-less rate by June next year were re-affirmed.

According to Roy Morgan, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment estimate was actually up 0.1% to 7.1% with the ABS equivalent recording the same gain, up 0.1% to 5.5%.

Here at Crikey we’ve been claiming as much for months, with our SackWatch column documenting the lay-offs at the frontline. Today, in our ninth instalment, we take a detour from the offices of the ABS to the factory floor where the recession continues to wreak havoc:

Check our Sackwatch meta-list for the full jobs fallout since early January.

Ernst & Young: A number of staff were sent home yesterday at lunchtime, with about 40 from the Brisbane office

BT Financial: Westpac wealth management business arm has sacked more than 300 financial advisers over the last six months

Independent contractors: Mark Latham’s “army” of 2 million independent contractors could be struggling for work, and might not be reflected in the official statistics, according to reports

Youth unemployment: 10,000 people aged 15 to 19 are set to join the jobless ranks every month, reports have claimed

Central Coast Sun-Weekly: Fairfax-owned NSW masthead has shut its doors

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA): 400 workers told to take for a month beginning on from June

Intabill: e-Commerce mogul Daniel Tzvetkoff’s firm has sacked 96 staff and ditched sponsorship of his V8 Supercar team

PriceWaterhouseCoopers: Accounting giant has asked 5000 full-time staff to take up to three weeks of unpaid leave in an attempt to cut costs.

ABS ordered to stop job cuts: 180 jobs lost in March currently the subject of a brawl with the union, with another 60 roles said to be on the chopping block

Nyrstar: Zinc producer has announced it will slash 60 jobs over the next 18 months at its Hobart smelter

Alcoa: Portland aluminum smelter said yesterday said it would curtail production by up to 15 per cent with more that 600 staff employed at the firm

OZ Minerals: Wholesale board and management cuts mooted following asset writedowns

Fonterra: New Zealand-owned dairy group will shed up to 140 jobs when it closes ice-cream-making operations at its West Australian plant

Computer Sciences Australia: Roughly 150 and 170 staff set to be made redundant with a salary freeze in place

Nokia: Phone maker will retrench 450 workers worldwide, although the Australian toll is unknown at this stage

Microsoft: Local headcount to be substantially reduced in line with global plans to lay-off 5,000 workers

Lane Walker Rudkin Sportswear factory: 60 jobs cut after the firm entered receivership

Vision Australia: Not-for-profit group announced it is sacking 130 staff, around 90 of which are in Victoria

Westpac: Big Four bank has already hived off 800 full time equivalent positions with more jobs to go in the second half, despite a solid profit result

UBS: Investment bank to cut around 500 jobs in Australian as the finance industry falls off a cliff

Special WA resources sector wrap:

Genalysis: 80 jobs gone from WA laboratory

Newcrest Mining: 400 at Telfer mine

Mt Gibson Iron: 200 to go

Talisan Minerals: 200 jobs to go

Moly Mines: 70

United Construction: 19

Norilsk Nickel: 150

Oz Minerals: 70

Consolidated Minerals: 133

St Barbara Mines: 45

Panoramic Resources: 60

Nifty Copper Mines: 26

Norilsk Nickel: 330

Windimurra: 200

Kimberley Diamond Company: 36

CSR Monier: 12

Webforge: 2 made redundant

Metso Minerals: 2 being made redundant

Stramit: 8 domestic plus 10 workers on 457 visas

Locker Group: 13

Cayes Engineering: 14

United Group Resources: Going from 100 to 43 and finishing apprentices up early

APAC: 80

AGC: 300

WesTrac: 75

Peter Fray

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