Resources jobs up as new cycle starts
The worst of the downturn could be behind WA’s resources industry, with demand in the State’s mining and resources employment market hitting the highest level in almost two years.
Figures released recently by employment agency DFP Recruitment in its Mining and Resources Job Index showed WA was the main driver of resources sector job growth over the past quarter, up 10.9 per cent.
DFP Recruitment State manager Kate Duncan said the data indicated a new phase in the mining cycle, though demand for mining labour was still 30 per cent lower than at the end of the boom.
“The feedback we’re getting from clients in general is that they’re lightly optimistic about improving over the next six-12 months,” she said.
“There are some projects coming online that will contribute to increased job figures.
“We came from a fairly drastic low base.
“There were a number of big projects all at the one time which created this enormous employment trend in the resource sector and then those projects finished.
“We’re now starting to see the worst of that over and things starting to happen again.”
WA’s share of the national mining and resources job market hit 49.7 per cent in January, its highest level in almost a year.
“The feedback we’re getting from clients is that we’re getting some positivity and things are starting to move, but it’s not going to be an overnight rapid increase,” Ms Duncan said.
Nationally, engineers are still struggling, but the profession is looking at brighter prospects after opportunities grew for the fifth successive month, up 10.4 per cent in January.
Mining and petroleum engineering positions were up 21.6 per cent in January, though demand is about one-third what it was at the end of the boom.
Industry demand for geologists and geophysicists rose 49.2 per cent over six months.
Mining services, which recorded a slump in December, were up slightly in January.
Ms Duncan said the market for drillers, electrical trades and labourers was slow to respond but would pick up as new projects came online.
Figures show WA was the main driver of resources sector job growth over the past quarter, up 10.9 per cent.