Firms Readying To Axe Jobs In Australia

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Australia may be the number one destination for British expats moving abroad to work, but employers there are increasingly looking to offload staff.

One in seven firms are making redundancies, putting jobs at risk at the highest level for three years, according to a survey by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

AIM’s National Salary Survey also reveals that employers are expecting lower wage increases in the next year in every state except South Australia, where wage claims will be stable.

However, some sectors of the economy are desperate for more workers to fill vacant positions.

The biggest demand is in sales and marketing, where 38% of employers are struggling to find workers, followed by employers in the technical and trade sectors where 35% say they can’t find the right staff.

Where the jobs are

There are also plenty of jobs in construction and engineering, with 26% of employers looking for staff and also in manufacturing and distribution where 20% of employers face the same problems.

Other areas which offer opportunities in Australia include information technology, finance, accounting and general management.

The job sectors where employers have the least number of vacancies include healthcare, human resources and the legal profession.

Officially, Australia has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, though one economist says the country’s real unemployment rate is running at nearly 8%.

Shane Oliver, the chief economist for investment firm AMP, says that the jobs market in Australia is weakening and one indication of this is that employees are staying for longer with their employers because jobs are no longer easy to come by.

He said: “The survey by AIM shows that the labour market is not strong and that people are not quitting jobs because they know finding a new job after losing one is becoming more difficult.”

Economy worsening

The impact of growing job insecurity, he says, is that people are spending less in the economy and there is lower demand for housing as people become more reluctant to take on debt.

Even the mining sector, a powerhouse for the Australian economy, is beginning to weaken.

However, Mr Oliver says those parts of the Australian economy which are not affected by economic conditions or sentiment are doing well, such as culture and community services, personal services, health and education.

Matt Drinan, a spokesman for AIM, admitted their survey on employment indicators ‘is not good’.

He added: “While it might appear to be still an employee’s market it looks like it is starting to turn and it will not be as buoyant as it has been.”

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