Australia could loose as many 75,000 mining related jobs in next few years

July 2, 2014

According to new research from ANZ, Australia could loose as many as 75,000 jobs as the mining industry’s $450 billion investment on new capacity winds down.

The transition from the job-intensive construction phase to the operation phase could deal a heavy blow to the nations unemployment rate, the report found.

ANZ senior economist corporate and commercial Justin Fabo said he expected 50,000 to 75,000 high-paid resources-related jobs to be shed across the economy during the next couple of years, creating a headwind to overall employment growth.

The job losses mean at least 150,000 new jobs will have to be created on an annual basis to maintain a stable unemployment rate.

“Weaker than expected commodity prices would tilt the risks to more job losses as mining firms seek to cut costs,’’ Fabo told The Australian.

“So we think the unemployment rate will be in spitting distance of 6 percent over the next 12 months, and for improvement after that to be gradual.’’

Fabo said a decline in mining-investment related employment (as resources investment falls from a peak of about 8 percent of gross domestic product to close to 3 percent) would be partly offset by a ramp-up in operational mining jobs, but in net terms ANZ expects another 50,000 to 75,000 jobs to be lost.

An industry snapshot last year by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency put total jobs in the resources industry at 263,000, which represented an 80 per ent increase across five years.

But there has been a rash of job cuts since, mainly in the price-stressed coal industry and those flowing from the capital expenditure cessation in Pilbara iron ore. A loss of 50,000 jobs from the sector would represent a decline of 20 percent, or 28 percent should 75,000 jobs fall.


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