The Australian Mining Review - - CONTENTS - REUBEN ADAMS

IN Oc­to­ber, jobs ads on SEEK had jumped 16.1 per cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

“In terms of growth, while off a low base, the Min­ing, Re­sources & En­ergy sec­tor, for the tenth month in a row, recorded the largest an­nual growth of all in­dus­tries on SEEK, up 59 per cent year-on-year (y/y),” SEEK Aus­tralia and New Zealand man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Michael Il­czyn­ski said.

This strong growth was recorded across all States and Ter­ri­to­ries.

When the Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil’s (QRC) eighth yearly eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion re­port was launched in Novem­ber, QRC chief Ian Mac­far­lane was pos­i­tive.

“It is a ‘ jobs story’ [in QLD] this year, with di­rect full-time em­ploy­ment in the re­sources sec­tor grow­ing by more than 12 per cent to 38,150. That’s a lot of truck driv­ers, diesel fit­ters and port work­ers,” he said.

Mr Il­czyn­ski said that in the coun­try’s largest labour mar­kets of NSW and Vic­to­ria “job ads were up 12.4 per cent y/y and 18 per cent y/y re­spec­tively”.

In NSW, the strong turn­around in coal prices and in­creased de­mand for coal at key ex­port mar­kets re­sulted in an uptick in min­ing jobs for the State.

July fig­ures from Coal Ser­vices showed there were just over 20,600 coal pro­duc­tion jobs in NSW – over 1300 more than at the same time in 2016, and the high­est num­ber since March 2015.

Many of the new coal min­ing jobs are in the Hunter Val­ley, par­tic­u­larly in min­ing com­mu­ni­ties like Sin­gle­ton and Muswell­brook, with more than 1000 ad­di­tional po­si­tions in the re­gion than a year ear­lier.

Even South Aus­tralia, which held the man­tle as the State with the na­tion’s high­est un­em­ploy­ment rate for too long, is feel­ing op­ti­mistic.

While off a lower base, South Aus­tralia recorded the largest an­nual growth of all States and Ter­ri­to­ries, up 24.5 per cent y/y, Mr Il­czyn­ski said.

“Trades & Ser­vices of­fered the most job op­por­tu­ni­ties across the State, with job ads for the in­dus­try up by a solid 62 per cent y/y.”

The State Gov­ern­ment also re­cently promised more than 3000 jobs would come from grants and low-in­ter­est loans.

The WA labour mar­ket was still re­cov­er­ing but recorded an im­pres­sive y/y growth of 19.2 per cent, with Trades & Ser­vices and Min­ing, Re­sources & En­ergy of­fer­ing the most job op­por­tu­ni­ties.

A Septem­ber DFP Re­sources job in­dex showed a 29.6 per cent rise in WA job va­can­cies in the year to Au­gust com­pared with the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year, in fields in­clud­ing ge­ol­ogy, drilling, engi­neer­ing, busi­ness sup­port, op­er­a­tional man­agers, and trades.

From a longer-term stand­point, the NAB Novem­ber Sur­vey saw con­struc­tion as the sec­tor with the best em­ploy­ment con­di­tions, fol­lowed by min­ing, which had “im­proved con­sid­er­ably in the sur­vey since the start of this year [2017]”.

New fig­ures from ANZ in De­cem­ber also showed de­mand for work­ers re­mained steady, with job ad­ver­tise­ments grow­ing by 1.5 per cent to 172,000 in Novem­ber – 12.1 per cent higher than a year ear­lier.

Fed­eral Trea­surer Scott Mor­ri­son said that by De­cem­ber, Aus­tralia had ex­pe­ri­enced the strong­est jobs growth across all in­dus­tries in forty years, with four out of five jobs be­ing full time.

Look­ing for­ward, the Man­pow­erGroup Em­ploy­ment Out­look Sur­vey for the first quar­ter of 2018 re­ports pos­i­tive signs across the Min­ing & Con­struc­tion, Fi­nance, In­surance & Real Es­tate, and Ser­vices sec­tors; es­pe­cially in NSW, QLD, South Aus­tralia and WA.

Em­ploy­ers in the Min­ing and con­struc­tion sec­tor re­port the strong­est out­look (+23 per cent) as well as the strong­est year-over-year gain of 16 per­cent­age points, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey.

This is ap­par­ent in QLD (+15 per cent) and WA (+9 per cent), where min­ing and con­struc­tion are in­te­gral.

Man­pow­erGroup Aus­tralia and New Zealand man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Richard Fis­cher said job out­look – the strong­est in more than six years – sig­nalled that wages pres­sure would start to build in the econ­omy through­out 2018.

Em­ploy­ers would face a more com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment in which to at­tract and re­tain the best tal­ent.

“With a low un­em­ploy­ment rate and a strong out­look, the labour mar­ket is rapidly ap­proach­ing the point at which the war for tal­ent will see wages pres­sure re­turn to the econ­omy,” Mr Fis­cher said.

“Em­ploy­ers will need to re­set their fo­cus in the New Year if they want to at­tract and re­tain the very best em­ploy­ees.”

“It is a ‘jobs story’ [in QLD] this year, with di­rect full-time em­ploy­ment in the re­sources sec­tor grow­ing by more than 12 per cent to 38,150. That’s a lot of truck driv­ers, diesel fit­ters and port work­ers.”

Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Mac­far­lane. Im­age: QRC.

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