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KPMG Australia to cut 200 roles as economic slowdown bites

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One of the big four accounting firms KPMG Australia is set to slash 200 roles after a drop in demand from clients due to worsening economic conditions.

The company’s workforce blew out by an extra 20 per cent in 2022 – adding 2000 roles last year – but now a business wide review will see job cuts, with predictions it could impact one to two per cent of its local staff.

The cuts are a result of a “minor softening” of demand for the firm’s management consulting services as clients stopped or delayed project amid soaring interest rates in favour of mission-critical work such as cybersecurity, risk management and technology systems, reported The Australian Financial Review.

Last year, KPMG had a whopping 1200 roles advertised in LinkedIn in September but this has now dropped to fewer than 200 jobs.

A KPMG spokeswoman told the AFR the firm planned to cut operating costs due to “uncertain market conditions”.

“We have, for example, slowed our hiring, and we’re actively aligning our people with the strongest demand areas,” the spokeswoman said.

“We are monitoring conditions closely and expect that we will need to make adjustments to areas of our firm where client demand has softened.“

The firm’s US arm also announced cuts with 700 roles set to go.

Just two months into the new year, the casualties from sackings is already piling up.

This week one in five staff at embattled grocery delivery start-up Milkrun were laid off and delivery hubs have also been shut down, with the company blaming the terminations on the difficult economic climate.

Another delivery giant, DoorDash, laid off seven per cent of its workforce – which impacted 1250 jobs.

Other Australian companies outside of the delivery and grocery realm have also been sucked into the so-called “tech meltdown”.

Earlier this month, comparison website Finder laid off or restructured 15 per cent of its workforce.

At the start of the year, an Australian trading firm – that paid starting salaries of up to $200,000 – chopped 11 per cent of its workforce, including recently hired graduates.

But it’s not just the tech sector either with as many as 200 people set to lose their jobs as Australia’s last white paper manufacturer closes.

Globally, PayPal slashed its headcount by 2000 employees – about 7 per cent of its workforce in February too.

Goldman Sachs was also set to sack 3200 staff in the coming weeks in one of its biggest round of job cuts in its more than 150-year history.

Meanwhile, Microsoft said it would lay off 10,000 employees in the coming months as the economic downturn continues to punish US tech giants.

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