Geoscientist job prospects up but self-employed still struggle

Unemployment among Australian geoscientists has continued to fall in the first quarter of 2019, however those that are self-employed continued to struggle.

According to the latest Australian Institute of Geoscientist’s (AIG) employment survey, an average unemployment rate of 7.5 per cent was down from the 9.1 per cent recorded three months earlier, at the end of December 2018.

The underemployment rate among self-employed geoscientists however, increased two per cent up to 20.5 per cent.

This continues an upturn in the self-employed’s unemployment rate, which was evident in the December 2018 survey when a rate of 18.5 per cent was recorded.

The fall in geoscientist unemployment meanwhile continues a gradual, downward trend that became evident in March 2016.

In the first quarter of 2019, geoscientist unemployment increased in all states except Queensland and the Northern Territory.

The biggest increase was observed in Victoria, where the unemployment rate increased from 5.9 per cent to 11.8 per cent while in Queensland, the unemployment rate fell from 15.1 per cent to 9.4 per cent.

Underemployment increased in every state except South Australia, where the rate fell from 38.8 per cent to 31.2 per cent, and Tasmania, where too few responses were received to quote figures for the state.

AIG president Andrew Waltho welcomed the fall in geoscientist employment but conceded that self-employed geoscientists continued to struggle.

“There is, clearly, evidence that improved industry activity is creating new employment opportunities for geoscientists, particularly in mineral exploration, but any talk of a boom seems premature,” Waltho said.

“We received excellent responses to the survey again, with more than 400 contributions received from geoscientists across Australia.”

The second quarter survey will open for contributions early in July.

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