8 Feb 2009

Claim job loss more likely for senior farming staff than juniors

9:53 pm on 8 February 2009

The director of a rural recruitment firm says dairy farmers are more likely to lay off senior staff members if they consider staff cut backs.

Recent figures from the Household Labour Force Survey show the number of out-of-work people rose to 105,000 at the end of December.

Estimates from the Government predict that the recession could result in unemployment reaching as high as 7.5% by 2011.

John Fegan, the Managing Director of the ATR Fegan recruitment company, says while he doesn't think unemployment will reach those levels in the rural community, redundancies are occurring, especially in the dairy industry.

And he says it could be more senior farming staff who are likely to be made redundant.

Mr Fegan says that is because farmers who put themselves back into the roster will be more likely to do the work of a senior employee and more experienced staff are also more expensive to employ.

He says there's still likely to be a need for immigrant labour, which makes up the bulk of junior to intermediate level staff.