A JOBS REVIVAL
RECRUITMENT IN MINING
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 ”.
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.