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Daily Archives: April 11th, 2009

Teresa Ooi | January 24, 2009
Article from: The Australian
THE number of people in the jobless queue is much higher than official figures because more than 800,000 part-time workers are desperate to work more hours.

“Unfortunately, under-employment is an issue that has not been understood by the Government or by those trying to predict the economic outlook for Australia,” Roy Morgan Research chief executive Michele Levine said.

“The Government needs to understand real unemployment and the even more insidious problem of under-employment. There’s a crucial issue of part-time employment (people who are working part-time but want to work full-time, or at least more hours than they are currently working).”

Industries hit worst by under-employment include the retail sector, in which about 170,000 people, or 14 per cent, are part-time workers looking to work more hours, and the hospitality and recreational sectors, which have about 177,000, or 20 per cent, under-employed.

“A further 254,000 people, or 9.5 per cent of those employed in community services, are also under-employed,” she said.

The jobless rate has risen to a two-year high of 4.5 per cent, with more than 500,000 people in the unemployed queue.

The economy shed 44,000 full-time jobs last month, eclipsing a gain of 42,000 part-time positions, but Ms Levine said the unemployment figure was closer to 6.4 per cent in December because Roy Morgan Research classified those looking for work as unemployed.

Ms Levine said 77 per cent of the male workforce was working full-time, but only 48 per cent of the female workforce was full-time.

“One in 10 women are part-timers looking for more work. This is twice the number of under-employed male workers,” she said.

“Public servants are more likely to be employed full-time than those in the private sector. They are also less likely to want to work more hours.

“The public sector is clearly much more comfortable, with 73 per cent in full-time positions and only 5 per cent wanting more hours than their present part-time work.

“Almost one in 10 (629,000) people employed in the private sector are part-timers looking to work more hours while about half that number — one in 20 people (126,000) — employed in the public service are wanting to work more hours.”

The research showed that under-employment was higher among younger people and that 30 per cent of the workforce younger than 24 rented their homes and had poorer education.

Up to late 2007, Australia’s booming economy and relatively low levels of unemployment had experienced labour and skills shortages.

As a result of the global financial crisis and the fallout from the deteriorating economic conditions, the unemployment outlook is expected to worsen.

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said recently the Government expected the jobless rate to rise from the December figure of 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent by mid-year.

According to the Australian National Retailers Association, the economic downturn has already resulted in the loss of at least 50,000 jobs in the retail sector.

“We are now on the cusp of a recession, with the prospect of even more pressure on retail jobs,” association chief executive Margy Osmond said. “This could be particularly concerning for small and medium retailers, where many of these job losses may occur.”

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,,24954039-20142,00.html

By correspondents in Paris
Agence France-Presse
April 10, 2009 12:00am

A SENIOR manager at French auto parts maker Faurecia was being held overnight by workers angry at plans to restructure a factory southwest of Paris, a union official said.
The official in the CFDT union said the boss of a plant in Brieres-les-Scelles, about 45 kilometres (30 miles) from Paris, had been detained by workers in the latest incident of “bossnapping.”

A number of managers in France have been held hostage overnight by workers in recent weeks over planned job cuts. In each case, they have been released unharmed, often after a promise to restart negotiations.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to put an end to the practice, saying workers angry over layoffs must nevertheless obey the law and not hold executives captive.

“What is this business of sequestering people? We have the rule of law, and I will not let matters go on like that,” Sarkozy had said in a speech.

“We can understand that people are angry, but this anger will subside with answers and results, not by aggravating matters with actions that are contrary to the law,” he said.

Recent polls show that up to half of French people believe workers are justified in taking executives captive to seek better redundancy packages during the economic crisis.

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25316189-462,00.html

George Megalogenis
The Australian
April 11, 2009 12:01am

Record broken … there are now 4.92 million women in work against 4.915 million men in full-time employment

THE global recession has helped to make history in Australia with the number of working women in full-time and part-time jobs surpassing the number of men in full-time jobs for the first time on record last month.

The gender gap in favour of women is small on paper: just 5000 jobs.

But it contrasts with the nation’s blue-collar past, when full-time men eclipsed all women in work. Going into the last recession in 1990, full-time men held almost 950,000 more jobs than women in full-time and part-time work combined, The Australian reports.

As recently as a year ago, the advantage to full-time men over all working women was a still respectable 123,000.

The latest official labour force survey showed that male full-time employment dropped by 47,000 to 4.915 million in March, and is now at its lowest share of total jobs on record – 45.6 per cent. The losses were partly offset by male part-time employment increasing by 26,000 to 937,000, or 8.7 per cent of all jobs – a record high.

More telling, the slice of employment pie going to full-time men is now a fraction lower than the 45.7 per cent belonging to working women, comprising 25.1per cent in full-time positions (2.706 million) and another 20.6per cent in part-time work (2.214 million).

Just to spell that out, fellas, that’s 4.92 million women in work against 4.915 million men in full-time employment.

The combination of fewer male full-time jobs will test the Rudd Government’s social policies.

Labor ministers are aware that leaving a generation of young men on the scrap heap may pose an even greater threat to social cohesion over the next decade than Hansonism did in the 1990s.

Men went into the last recession in 1990 with their full-time jobs at 53.6 per cent of all positions and their part-time jobs at a modest 4.7 per cent.

They came out of the recession with their full-time jobs worth 51.9per cent of a much smaller employment pie, and their part-time ranks at 5.6 per cent.

Women, by contrast, suffered only mild job losses – 64,000 positions were made redundant in total against 245,000 for men.

This allowed women to lift their share of total jobs from 41.1 per cent to 42.5 per cent.

The recovery that followed did nothing to restore the old blue-collar order as women, particularly young mothers and those nearing retirement, snapped up part-time positions.

Men did their bit to casualise the workforce as they also shifted to part-time work.

http://www.news.com.au/business/story/0,27753,25319426-462,00.html?referrer=email&source=eDM_newspulse