[REPORT] Australian Mining Industry Could Lose 75,000 Jobs

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The mining industry in Australia is in danger of losing thousands of resource-related jobs as the industry enters a new phase of mining.According to a n...

The mining industry in Australia is in danger of losing thousands of resource-related jobs as the industry enters a new phase of mining.

According to a new report by the ANZ bank, Australia’s mining industry could shed up to 75,000 jobs over the next three years as the mining boom shifts gear.

The potential job losses will add to the country’s 5.8 percent unemployment rate and will require the creation of 150,000 new jobs a year to maintain this rate.

"Weaker than expected commodity prices would tilt the risks to more job losses as mining firms seek to cut costs," said Justin Fabo, senior economist for ANZ.

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

The sector is seeing a switch in position as the job-intensive construction phase moves towards the job-light operation phase.

“Iron ore projects in Western Australia require, on average, one worker during the production phase for every two or three workers directly employed during the investment phase (but the ratio can vary markedly project to project),” Fabo said in his report.

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency said the total number of jobs in the industry has increased by 80 percent in the last five years to reach 263,000.

The ANZ expects iron ore exports – Australia’s biggest – to grow from $55 billion in 2012 to $75 billion by 2020. LNG exports should also increase, growing from $15 billion in 2013 to $67 billion by 2020.

The mining industry in Australia is expected to remain profitable as the volume of mineral exports surges.

“This phase of the mining boom, however, will not be as lucrative as Phase I,” ANZ said.


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