Employment spikes in Australia’s mining states

Rio employees at Argyle. Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

More evidence of the revival in employment in Australia’s mining and resources sector has emerged.

A Twitter post from IFM Investors chief economist Alex Joiner revealed how much employment has grown in resources states – Western Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory – over the past year.

While graph one shows that employment growth in non-resources states is also higher, Australia’s mineral-rich states have easily exceeded their improvement.

The job growth in resources states coincides with last year’s turnaround in commodity prices, including iron ore and coal.

Employment growth has, however, continued to rise throughout the year, according to the graph, despite the rise in value of these commodities cooling off in the past six months.

IFM’s research reflects the optimism that has flowed around employment in mining and resources over the year.

Online jobs portal SEEK has reported several times that its mining, resources and energy category is recording that fastest rate of advertising growth of all industries.

In June, job ads on SEEK for mining, resources and energy were up 84 per cent year on year (y/y), with mining states – Queensland and Western Australia – displaying signs of recovery.

Hays Recruitment told Australian Mining that skills shortages started to emerge in mining during the first half of the year as renewed optimism and improved sales prices helped increase job vacancies.

Mining companies are also now willing to recruit personnel with no previous experience in the industry, according to Hays.

The second graph from IFM is encouraging for both resources and non-resources states, showing a sharp fall in unemployment in Australia during 2017.

Resources states have seen the most substantial fall in unemployment since 2013 when the commodities downturn was in full swing.

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