Job market in best shape since mining boom

Image: DFP

Job vacancies in the mining and resources sector dipped by 1.1 per cent in April despite strong commodity prices over the past three months.

The month’s contraction was attributed to permanent jobs, which fell by two per cent, while temporary and contract roles were stable, according to recruitment specialist DFP.

Western Australia had a further employment rise of 1.4 per cent, in contrast to falling jobs in coal-dependent Queensland last month.

The coal sector continued to be volatile and the oil and gas sector reported disappointing results, with a fall in vacancies (11.2 per cent) reported within the same period.

Metal ore remained the leading sector, boasting another rise of 3.3 per cent in April.

In light of the mixed results, job opportunities are still 4.3 per cent higher over the last quarter due to the significant rise in March. Underperforming permanent jobs were also 10.2 per cent higher than a year ago.

DFP claimed the employment market was “clearly” in its best shape since the mining investment boom.

“The Reserve Bank of Australia’s non rural bulk commodity price index rose a further 2.2 per cent. Aggregate prices have risen an impressive 10.1 per cent in the last three months and the index is the highest it has been for over five years,” the DFP Mining and Resources Job Index Report stated.

“Employers, however, have not responded by increasing employment by a corresponding factor and hiring could even be stronger.”

April was another month of strong recovery for drillers, miners and moving plant operators, close to the record level of job vacancies seen last in October 2018.

Demand for mining and petroleum engineers have also been a standout in recent months (up a whopping 20.9 per cent in April), while operational management slipped 3.8 per cent.

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