There’s been a lot of talk since those May growth figures about the resilience of Australian markets. However, the reality seems a bit more confusing than Labor would have us believe, with both public and private sectors are seeing more cuts, fewer hours and vacancies staying unfilled, as seen below.

While The Oz predicted last week that while we’ve seen the worst of market woes, there’s nothing to guarantee that these trends will improve if, and when, the economy does. In the last 12 months, Australia has recorded 60,000 fewer full-time employees but 96,000 more part-time employees, ensuring unemployment figures along with wages might be staying put, at least for a while.

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

Here’s the latest anecdotal evidence:

Australia Council — Staff from the Sydney-based took industrial action last week over impacts that a 20% staff cut late last year is having. “Staff have been working long hours, nights and weekends. We’ve had members reporting to us doing 12 and 14 hour days,” said Nadine Flood from the CPSU.

SA Health Department — The first 64 of 430 jobs to go have been announced from the South Australian Health Department with casualties including the Aboriginal Health Division. The public sector isn’t so safe afterall.

Tasmania Public Service — While the final figure of 800 jobs hasn’t been reduced, the Tasmanian State Government are finding a multitude of ways to save money on wages. Most prominent among these will be avoiding replacing staff who quit or move elsewhere.

NSW Support Teachers — The NSW Teachers Federation says the State Government is planning to give up 1830 support teachers jobs by 2010 despite denials from the Minister.

Media Monitors — Sources say 100 pink slips will be handed out over three months across Australia. Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth offices will be reduced to one full time staff member and one part time staff member with a dozen redundancies in Sydney. Operations will be focused to Sydney and Melbourne as well as moved offshore to Wellington and Malaysia offices. The board has allegedly blamed the rise of AAP, Google News and the economic downturn.

Gunns — While management is making assurances that the plant won’t be closed, 22 voluntary redundancies are being called for from the North-west decorative veneer mill in Tasmania.

BHP Billiton — Having promsed to re-deploy as many as possible of the 650 full-timers who lost their jobs with the closure of the Ravensthorpe nickel project in January, only 110 have been given new roles, according to a story in The West.

Centennial Coal — More bad news in the mining industry with NSW mines potentially enduring up to 89 job cuts.

Solar Industry — Feet-dragging with ETS regulations means hundreds of jobs in the solar industry are at risk. “It’s not good when a political football is created over something that’s so good for the environment.” says Guy Montgomery of Solar XPress.

Alcoa — While the official line remains that discussions are underway, sources say that Alcoa’s plans to cut jobs are more than just “mooted”. Up to 98 jobs at the Point Henry smelter and up to 41 jobs at the Portland smelter remain on the line, in a town that already took a heavy hit with Ford job-cuts.

Mint Wireless — Tips indicate this software business offed another 5 staff yesterday, following a series of rolling redundancies. They are now looking to appoint administrators.

Borders — Aside from shaving back on casual staff, sources say the bookstore franchise is retrenching all 25 Business & Education managers Australia wide, forcing store managers to pick up the work

National Foods — Blaming the economic turn and simple demand/supply sums, National Foods is offing one fifth of its production workforce of 175 based in Berri.

Air France — Not filling vacancies as they arise is a trend not confined to Australia. Air France are set to lose 3000 jobs through attrition says the Associated Press.

Have you or someone you know been sacked? Email [email protected] with “SackWatch” in the subject line and we’ll keep the list updated as a handy HR reference point.

Peter Fray

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