Report confirms jobs hit
The high level of corporate activity in the WA gold scene is providing a “sense of optimism” but overall sentiment in the mining industry remains “lousy”.
The view was contained in a new report by DFP Recruitment, which controls Kalgoorlie-based firm Strudwick HR.
DFP’s monthly Mining and Resources Job Index, which measures the level of job advertisements across Australia, suffered a dramatic fall of 8.6 per cent in July to 47.87.
The index has lost 17.54 points since February, down from a base rate of 100 points when DFP commissioned the research in June 2013.
July was the second-biggest monthly fall, eclipsed only by an 8.9 per cent fall in February 2014.
The DFP report noted there were further job cuts in July, including Yancoal with 225, BHP Billiton continuing with its “forced redundancy program” and losses in Kambalda with Panoramic Resources.
“For those in employment, there also remains downward pressure on salaries and contract rates as employers seek to lower production and overhead costs,” the report stated.
The report showed the number of vacancies advertised has fallen 34.9 per cent in the last 12 months.
WA is facing considerable challenges, with vacancies down 6.5 per cent in July and 15.1 per cent over the last quarter.
The bright spark has been provided by merger and acquisition activity by WA gold miners Metals X, Evolution Mining, La Mancha Australia, Phoenix Gold and Regis Resources, who were all engaged on various fronts in July.
“This may well create some optimism in the employment front with capital coming into new or previously shelved projects,” the DFP report stated.
The report added this month’s Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum, where 1700 delegates descended on Kalgoorlie-Boulder, highlighted that “sentiment in the industry was generally lousy”.
Demand for occupational health and safety professionals took a substantial hit, falling 15.2 per cent in July and has now collapsed 34.2 per cent in six months.
Technical services and maintenance management sectors shed 17.2 per cent in July.
Production and project management specialists, along with geologists and other sciences, remains the weakest two management categories.
The mining services sector fell 13.3 per cent in July and 31.1 per cent over the last six months, a clear consequence of the contraction in new mining investment.
“As new project development dwindles and pricing pressure intensifies, the mining services and suppliers sector has been one of the worst hit sectors and is bracing for more downturn,” the report stated.