The mining and energy sector is continuing to prove itself as a “life raft” for the Queensland economy, with new figures showing the state increasing its share of resource jobs nationwide.
Research by CoverCard, released by the Minerals Council of Australia, shows there were 8785 new job advertisements across Australia within the mining industry between March and May 2020.
Queensland, the second largest state for identified mining job advertisements after Western Australia, increased its share of total identified mining job advertisements in that period to 31 per cent
This was up from 26 per cent in the previous three months.
This equated to an increase of about 13 per cent in mining-related jobs in Queensland, even though the total job adverts in the sector nationwide decreased from 9242 jobs in the previous three months.
WA saw an increase of about 5 per cent, while figures for other states plummeted, figures show.
“This suggests a potential impact of COVID-19 has been a consolidation of job opportunities where there is existing strength and scale (i.e. Western Australia and Queensland), with other regions comparatively less likely to hire and therefore showing a reduction on a relative share basis,” the CoverCard report said.
While the nationwide figure for March-May was the smallest quarterly total volume of mining job advertisements since mid-2016, the CoverCard report concluded that mining job advertisements had proven resilient through the pandemic compared to the falls experienced in other sectors.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane welcomed the State’s leading jobs growth in the sector.
He said mining and energy was a “life raft” for Queensland right now in terms of jobs, income and investment opportunities.
“In spite of everything COVID-19 has thrown at us, the mining and energy sector continues to be the backbone of the Queensland economy,” Mr Macfarlane said
“Our companies have put in a huge effort to introduce strict COVID-19 protocols across our 372,000-strong workforce, and as a result we’ve been able to maintain full production and keep our employees working, earning and spending in their communities.”
The QRC recently called on the State Government to support continued growth and development in the resources sector by keeping royalty tax rates at current levels for the next 10 years.
Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector was just like any other, in that investors would go elsewhere if they considered an operating environment to be complex, unstable and expensive.
“Make no mistake, competition around the world to attract large-scale resources projects is fierce, because these projects offer an excellent return on investment in the form of jobs, taxes and royalty taxes for host countries,” he said.
“We’re asking the Queensland Government to help us attract more projects and more work and more jobs by offering an up-front, ten-year stay on royalties.
“They will be re-paid in spades, because the more investment in projects and the better our companies perform, the more royalty taxes and jobs they contribute to the Queensland economy and that’s good for all Queenslanders.”