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Mining and Resources sector jobs: A year in review


New research from recruitment company DFP Recruitment indicates that while the number of advertised jobs in the mining and resources sector has seen a decline in the past 12 months, opportunities for contingent workers have been significantly better.
The DFP Mining and Resources Job Index examines hiring trends on a state, subsector and functional basis. The index found that: 

  • Mining and Resources job vacancies have declined by 34.3% nationally in the past 12 months
  • However, the rate of decline has eased to only 4.9% in the last quarter following a steeper fall of 11.9% in the first half of 2014


  • The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Commodity Price Index, which closely aligns to the DFP Mining and Resources Job Index, saw an increase of 4.2% in December 2014, the first since November 2013
  • It is theorised that this stabilisation in the costs of iron ore and coal could lead to improvements in the job market in 2015

Contingent market

  • Year on year there have been considerably more vacancies in the temporary and contract market when compared to the permanent job market, despite starting the year with similar levels of vacancies

State breakdown

  • Western Australia remains the strongest state in terms of job listings, but experienced a comparatively poor month in December, with a 4.5% in vacancies
  • While the number of vacancies in Queensland saw sharp decline in the first half of last year, it has stabilised, with December 2014 seeing the first increase in listings in over 12 months

Subsector analysis

  • Exploration has seen comparatively exponential growth in the past three months; it was the only sector to see growth
  • The declining price of petrol has caused sharp falls in oil and gas extraction job listings, with a fall of over 40% in the past 12 months
  • Oversupply by nations a part of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is predicted to cause further falls in demand for the oil and gas extraction sector
  • In terms of market share, metal ore mining maintains the lion share of job listings on the market at 40.6%
  • Despite its sharp decline, the old and gas exploration sector still accounts for 31% of vacancies, highlighting the importance of crude oil prices to the Australian resources sector

Snapshot: Engineering professionals

  • Engineering professionals appear to be hit hardest by the mining downturn, with an overall fall of nearly 40% in job listings
  • Within the profession, demand for engineering trades and technicians has been the most positive
  • Mining and petroleum engineers have seen a 70% decline in vacancies over the last year with few signs of improving


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