Data released by the government today, covering the three months to August, shows jobs in the mining sector fell by 4600, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Overall employment in the industry is still up 44,600 on the same period last year, but this is the first quarterly drop since mid-2009 and comes on the back of more lay offs amid fears the industry boom is nearing its peak.
Major companies like Xstrata, BHP Billiton, and Fortescue metals have all reported job cuts in recent weeks with Xstrata set to slash 600 jobs across its Australia coal operations.
The high Australian dollar, coupled with a fall in demand from China and weak prices have been blamed for the job losses.
In an industry that has single-handedly generated almost 133,000 jobs since 2007, the recent cuts and fall in job numbers will no doubt have many asking whether the boom is indeed behind us.