Unemployment data released this morning has confirmed suspicions that the April jobless figure was a mere blip on the radar, the last glimmer of hope before the shutters come down on the Australian labour market. The jobless index promptly pared its April falls, climbing back to 5.7%, the same figure recorded in March. Full-time jobs fell by 26,200, bang in line with economists’ expectations. Many full-time roles were simply swapped for part-time positions as the notion of a reliable 9-to-5, Monday to Friday job receded further from view. In total, 1,700 net jobs evaporated.
Meanwhile, official Treasury estimates say the 600,000 Australians currently out of work will surge to 1 million with the jobless rate predicted to climb to a daunting 8.5% by mid-2010. While some soothsayers have revised their long-term estimates downwards, anecdotal evidence suggests employers continue to prepare for the worst, as you can see below.
Check our SackWatch meta-list for the full jobs fallout since early January.
BHP Billiton: Unions say thousands of jobs in the Pilbara region will go after the mining giant announced an historic iron ore tie-up with rival Rio Tinto. 20,000 workers are currently employed in the region.
Rio Tinto: The Argyle Diamond mine will lose 87 direct employees and 34 contractors as workers are replaced with machines at the East Kimberly operation.
Alcoa: The Australian Workers Union has been liaising with management amid fears of job cuts at the Point Henry smelter with shift changes and reduced hours also mooted.
The mining and construction industry: Total employment is down 31% from the same time last year, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
Qantas: Up to 240 technology jobs on the chopping block as technology operations are outsourced. CEO Alan Joyce previously announced 1,750 sackings as part of a feverish cost-cutting drive.
The West Australian: Monopoly Perth daily wants to make five per cent of its staff redundant and has already called for volunteers.
Australia Post: 13 call centre jobs have been abolished in Hobart with the possibility of centralisations and outsourcing at other hubs across the nation.
Hutchison Telecoms: Fears persist that the Vodafone merger will result in the decimation of the local staffing base, after the tie-up was given the green light by the ACCC.
ING: Global banking giant retrenched 6 senior managers at the end of 2008 while it considers how to cut 7000 positions globally as part of an offshoring push overseen by Chief Operating Officer Fred Bertram.
The timber industry: Timber giant Carter Holt Harvey closed its Dartmoor sawmill in Victoria late last year, with 130 workers given the chop, while 30 workers were sacked at Myrtleford. In South Australia, the company says 88 workers from Nangwarry Ply Factory will receive pink slips.
Gunns Timber Company have also made 120 workers redundant at Scottsdale sawmill in Tasmania, with four workers going at Portland, according to the CFMEU.
Cumberland Industries: Western Sydney firm that employs around 550 disabled people, has entered administration. The company claims it is “business as usual” while auditors pick through the wreckage.
Ventracor: Troubled medical device maker has entered administration and already laid off five staff, according to one former manager.
Foxtel sub-contractors: Sources say the usual four installations a day at the profit-making pay TV provider have dried up with some saying they are only completing three jobs a week.
South Australian public service: More sackings threatened on top of last year’s 1,600 layoffs if unions refuse a 2.5% wage rise, according to Labor Treasurer Kevin Foley
Western Power: More than 110 positions gone without notice, in order to release funds to upgrade and expand its network, according to the company.
Herron Pharmaceuticals: Brisbane factory has been closed with the loss of 150 jobs, a few months after it revealed plans to expand factories in Victoria and television advertisements pushing a “buy Herron, keep jobs in Australia” line.
Hewlett Packard: CEO has announced 2% of the global workforce will evaporate over the next year, with the local toll yet to be announced. The firm will trim some 24,000 jobs worldwide after a merger with EDS.
The resources industry: Minerals Council CEO Mitch Hooke says 100,000 jobs will go in the mining industry by 2030 if the Rudd Government’s ETS legislation is implemented, while conservation groups say the reverse could be true. One to watch.
National Australia Bank: 33 jobs in its planning division could be cut this year, according to the Finance Sector Union.
Lawyers: Around 100 top law firms plan to cut jobs through natural attrition, while one third have implemented hiring freezes, according to an industry survey.
Mallesons Stephen Jacques: Top tier law firm has implemented a pay freeze, joining rivals Allens, Clayton Utz, Freehills and Minters, as merger work dries up.
PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 40 to 50 partners reportedly given the option to leave after 170 other jobs were axed and unpaid leave requests distributed.