EDITORIAL: Is it recession time?

By: Chris Smith


Sixty-eight percent of ABC’s polled readers believe we are heading into a recession. Maybe it’s not the recession we ‘have

Sixty-eight percent of ABC’s polled readers believe we are heading into a recession.

Maybe it’s not the recession we ‘have to have,’ it’s more like the recession we are trying to avoid.

The economic turmoil caused by the United States sub-prime mortgage market woes is slowly, but surely, taking a grip.

The slow flow over affect is biting, and it is biting rather hard and that’s part of globalisation. The domino affect is alive and well in all markets.

The treasurer is remaining strong (claiming we are an economic island and shielded from the rest of the world), the Reserve Bank is considering dropping interest rates to slow the slowing down of the economy (which the banks are unlikely to follow), and banks are loosing value on the stock exchange because of their heavy borrowings in brighter times.

From the conferences attended by ABC in the last year the massive issue facing Australian industry was the skills shortage, how times have changed.

Everything was booming and rapidly expanding, causing major staffing issues across Australian industries.

Most industries, including transport, have been operating at, or dangerously beyond, capacity.

Workplaces have been pushing the boundaries for at least two-to-three years with understaffing in many cases due to increased productivity and a human resource competitive booming mining sector.

The impending down-turn could be a chance to rectify the skills shortage. For employers it could spell a turnaround to a tighter job market leaving employees with less employment choices.

It could mean wage pressures could be dampened by job insecurity.

Although, as a pragmatist, it could mean a chance for industry to lessen the strain they have been under due to labour shortages. A chance to work at, or just below, capacity. It could mean an opportunity to enhance a workers work life balance, promote family friendly workplaces, reduce staff turnover, prevent staff burnout, and most of all, increase job satisfaction.

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