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Skilled workers to lose jobs: survey



2nd March 2009, 6:45 WST







As many as 50,000 skilled workers could be looking for work by 2010 across most industries, a new survey says.


Demand for skilled workers looks to have peaked in the final three months of 2008, with chefs the number one occupation still being sought after, the Clarius Skills Index shows.


The research, conducted by KPMG Econtech for specialist employment services group Clarius, shows the gap between positions available and candidates available shrank by 10,000 in the December quarter.

The Clarius Skills Index was 103.1 in the December quarter, down from 103.5 in the September quarter.

Based on its forecast of an unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent by mid-2010, it expects there will be an oversupply of skilled workers of between 35,000 and 50,000 next year.

The federal government is expecting a 7.0 per cent jobless rate by June 2010, compared with a jobless rate of 4.8 per cent in February 2009.


Clarius Group executive chairman Geoff Moles said the predicted oversupply of labour would represent a massive change in the employment landscape but its effects would be far from uniform.

"While economic pressures are changing the national employment landscape rapidly, the skilled labour market easing does not reflect the reality in every industry sector, with extreme shortages persisting in a few professions," he said.

He said there were still 39,000 unfilled skilled positions across professional occupations - building and engineering, accounting and auditing, healthcare and computing - in the December quarter.

There were also 60,000 tradespersons such as construction, automotive trades and metalworkers.


He said the terrible tragedies and massive community impacts of both the Victorian bushfires and the Queensland floods may increase demand in sectors where shortages persist, such as building and engineering and trades industries.

Demand for accountants and auditors also peaked in the December quarter as redundancy programs at the country's big four accountancy firms were undertaken.


"As the economy tightens further, discretionary expenditure is expected to further impact social activities and particularly the restaurant industry, thereby softening demand for chefs, currently top of the skills shortage list," the report said.

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My social work colleage was telling me the other day that a job in the wheatbelt which would normally attract only 2 or 3 applicants attracted 14 applications. I think this may be a taste of things to come, at least for a little while. Departments and Health Services are being asked to look at saving 3% which means for example means less use of casual staff via agencies and offering short term contracts instead

I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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