The Sydney Morning Herald reports IBM Australia could cut as many as 1500 staff. Many of the jobs will go offshore to Asia and New Zealand.
IBM refuses to confirm or deny the report.
At first sight this could be a good thing. After all we get good, well-paid jobs with a multinational employer. If you want a job with IBM, I hope you’re lucky.
It isn’t all positive.
First, Australia and New Zealand are effectively a single market for tech jobs. Many senior IBM people in the two countries have responsibilities that stretch from Invercargill to Darwin or further. With some of those jobs going to Asia the total pool of work for Australians and New Zealanders will be smaller.
Second, New Zealanders will be among the 1500 getting laid off in Australia. Some may be your friends or relatives.
Third, there’s a worrying implication in the SMH story. IBRS analyst Alan Hansell says he:
wouldn’t be surprised if New Zealand ended up benefiting the most from the cuts. This was because of the country’s cheaper real estate, lower mandatory superannuation for employees and lower labour rates.
Lower superannuation and lower labour rates are not the kind of competitive advantages most countries aspire to.