The Queensland resources sector has remained strong during the COVID-19 pandemic, experiencing just a 1 per cent drop in jobs during the March quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS labour force data shows that direct jobs in mining only moved from 66,331 to 65,337 during the period.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarle said this reinforced the importance of the resources sector for both the COVID-19 immediate response and recovery, keeping Queenslanders employed and creating new roles for those who lost jobs in other sectors.
Coal was particularly successful in supporting the Queensland resources sector, with jobs in the sector surging by 15 per cent during the March quarter.
Employment in the metals industry dropped by 8 per cent, while mining and exploration support jobs bounced back by 7 per cent during the period.
Macfarlane said the data demonstrated the importance of a diverse range of commodities in Queensland’s resources sector.
“There is a lot of pain in other industries as the impacts of COVID-19 unfold and this data demonstrates the importance of the diversity in Queensland’s resources sector,” he said.
“To put these numbers into perspective in the three months to May, Queensland lost 184,367 jobs across all industries.
“That’s roughly equal to every Queenslander employed in the public service or twice the number of jobs in agriculture, forestry and fishing.”
Macfarlane noted the flow-on effect to indirect jobs in offices, workshops and the mining services industries.
“We want to keep employing more Queenslanders and supporting more regional communities through local investment,” he said.
“To do that, it’s essential that we have clear and transparent rules and regulations.”
Queensland’s resources sector supports 372,561 direct and indirect full time jobs.
On a national scale, the ABS listed mining as the third-least affected industry in terms of job vacancies over the quarter.