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Australia – Further mining jobs losses reported

20 June 2014

Employment figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed the mining industry has lost 6,600 workers nationwide in the three months to May 2014, reports ferret.com.au. New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, however, reported growth in the number full-time mining positions.

With approximately 264,600 people currently working in the industry, the results are not all doom and gloom, with employment figures still higher than in May last year, when employees dropped by 6,600, only to recover the same number by August.

Full-time employment in NSW rose from 36,600 in February to 39,500 in May, despite a number of announcements within the coal sector of mine closures and redundancies.

Western Australia has fallen from a peak of 111,600 jobs in February 2014 to 99,200 in May, the lowest quarterly figure recorded for full-time employment in mining since August 2011.

However, Western Australia (WA) is still the most attractive state for mining investment in the world, ranked number one in the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies in March earlier this year. Historically, employment peaked in WA with 120,200 in August 2012.

Victoria now has 15,100 mining employees, the highest since May 2013 when 17,500 full-time employees fell sharply to only 12,000 during the month. Queensland has remained steady for the last six months around the 76,500 mark, 5,000 better than the same time last year.

South Australia shed 900 jobs during the last quarter, but has grown from 9,200 full-time positions in May last year to a current figure of 14,000, a jump of +63%. The region ranked just outside of the top ten state-regions in the world for mining industry growth in the Fraser Survey.

Mining jobs in Tasmania remain steady at 4,000 full-time jobs, the mean figure over the past two years. The Northern Territory hit a new peak with the highest full-time employment ever recorded at 6500 positions, also reflected by its rating in the Fraser Survey of 13th place.

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