Appetite for permanent mining jobs grows

Job vacancies in the mining and resources sector fell 3.9 per cent in November as the end of the year is approaching, according to the latest DFP Recruitment report.

The same trend was observed in both Queensland (5.9 per cent) and Western Australia (2.5 per cent).

Queensland experienced the most acute contraction in job opportunities last month, a trend that has persisted over the past quarter, the DFP Mining and Resources Job Index revealed.

While a year of solid growth in Western Australia pointed to a fall last month, the state continues to grab more share of job advertisements than Queensland, with 48.9 per cent and 26.2 per cent respectively.

“The positive momentum seen in the mining and resources job market for much of the year has finally run out of steam,” the report said.

The DFP mining and resources job index fell 3.9 per cent to 90.43 in November. A month prior, the index reached 94.14. However, November’s fall was only the second decline in 17 months.

“The index has still grown a very impressive 11.1 per cent year on year, an increase well above the national norm across all sectors. Job seekers in the sector can only consider this an excellent year,” the DFP said.

Employers are also showing clear preference to lock in talent in the midst of skill shortages. Contract roles increased by just 0.6 per cent, while permanent opportunities grew a whopping 19.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

The appetite for permanent workers largely occurred in the first six months, however, as employers are keeping a cautious watch over escalating trade tensions and China’s appetite for Australian commodities.

The DFP predicts that the job market will bounce back in February next year.

Across all subsectors, occupational groups experienced a fall in November, with the exception of oil and gas extraction which increased only 0.9 per cent.

Coal was hit the hardest, dropping 12.5 per cent in one month in November. This was brought about by a sharp fall in coal prices since they peaked in August and further hindrances by the federal parliament over Adani’s mine approval, according to DFP.

Over the last 12 months, metal ore mining is a big winner, with its market share up 2.4 per cent at the expense of mining services, which experienced a fall by the same amount.

Interestingly, engineering professionals seem to have been spared the worst of November’s decline. Mining and petroleum engineering enjoyed a second substantial monthly rise, the strongest it has been since early 2014.