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Australia – Public sector cuts 50,000 jobs

18 February 2013

New research by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) shows that the number of public sector jobs in the country has fallen for the first time in over a decade after public services cuts last year, which involved letting go tens of thousands of workers.

The union said today that over 50,000 public administration and safety jobs were lost in the year to November 2012. Half of those cuts took place between May and November as state governments in New South Wales and Queensland executed “radical” job cuts. The union warned that more job losses are on the way.

The ACTU Jobs Report found that employment in public administration and safety fell by -6.9% in 2012, the biggest yearly decline in that industry on record going back to 1984. The report said that public sector cuts are a major factor in the rise in Australia’s unemployment rate.

ACTU president, Ged Kearney, said: “Cutting public sector workers is a short-sighted policy which will lead to reduced services for all Australians. Many of the workers who lose their jobs will spend long periods of time in unemployment.”

The country’s official unemployment rate has remained at 5.4% over the last three months.

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