Economics & Labour

The Years – Retrospect and Prospect

Now is the time to look back, and to look forward (which is why the Roman God Janus is depicted with two faces.  One looking back and one looking forward –

and guess who the first month is named for?).Undoubtedly, the key feature of 2008 was the very rapid increase in the inflation rate, and the effect that this had on wage bargaining.  The data is reported in our wage settlement survey, and for the first time in over a decade, we regularly saw wage increases in excess of double digits.  End of year, however brought no joy, as world economies plunged into a recession, the speed and depth of which has not been seen since the nineteen twenties.  We are not going to escape.


Already, the level of retrenchments has significantly increased for this time of the year. Peak retrenchment time usually occurs around January February, when employers do their budgets and return from holidays.  Levels of retrenchments in mining and in auto have already been announced, and this does not bode well for the future.

If you are interested in our guide book “Managing Labour in Tough Times” click on the link, and this will let you access the order form.  Equally, if you are interested in understanding the forecast level of settlements in the year ahead, click on that link, and attend our wage and conditions outlook seminar.