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After the Boom: The State of Mining Jobs in Australia

The State of Mining Jobs in Australia

mining-jobs-in-australiaIn recent years, mining jobs in Australia have taken a significant hit; constant news about lay-offs may have you discouraged about the chances of landing an entry-level mining job in Australia.  Never fear!  Although the mining industry may have taken a significant hit, new mines are still being built.  Experts say unemployment may have hit its ceiling last year and the worst may be over. 

The global recession prompted China to spend billions on their infrastructure and housing, demanding thousands of tons of iron ore and steel from their greatest source of raw material.  Australian mining companies responded to the demand by hiring legions of new workers and rewarding them handsomely.  New mines were built without much regard to cost-effectiveness because the goal was to get the mine up and running to take advantage of China's frenzied spending.  Then it stopped. 

mining-jobs-mine-shutdownMining companies were forced to close mines and lay off thousands of workers.  Income for companies was no longer what it once was, but many operating costs stayed the same; like the financing costs for equipment procured during the busiest time.  Although workers should not expect the inflated wages paid during the boom, jobs in construction and many other sectors are still available.  Competition is fierce for entry-level mining jobs so workers may want to focus on sprucing up their resume with education and certifications.

Mine workers are optimistic that the demand for raw materials will return and companies will again be scrambling to hire employees.  People are reminded that the core of the industry is still intact; lay-offs were experienced by the industry's outer layers.  The inner sanctum was severely shaken and forced to reorganize, but most companies remained strong and had to make difficult decisions to keep their company's head above water.  After the painful downsizing of 2012 and 2013, the industry emerges strong and streamlined.  New mines are being built with an eye on the bottom line and mining companies are seeing the future with a new perspective.

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Australia is the world's most prolific producer of steel and her supply of natural resources seems endless.  The mining sector withstood a major blow, but it's already showing small signs of recovery.  Mining jobs may not be available like they were in 2010, but they are out there.

What Does the Future Hold for Mining Jobs?

In March of 2014, unemployment in Australia dropped .03%.  This may not seem like a large number, but it equates to roughly 88,000 new jobs.  Some economists believe the labour market may be stabilizing; others believe it's too soon to tell.

Experts believe that mining jobs in construction may begin to decline at the end of 2014, but that will give way to quite a lot of mining jobs in operations.

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Economists see small glimmers of new growth scattered throughout all industries, especially mining.

The mine closures are actually a good thing, maybe not if you’ve been downsized; but mine closures streamline and balance the industry.  Workers in the mines that stay open have more job security and keep the prices of Australia's valuable natural resources high.  If the market is flooded with coal, it becomes a buyer's market and the buyers essentially set the price.

So if you're having trouble finding a mining job, don't give up!  There are mining jobs in Australia out there, but competition is very stiff so make sure to put your best foot forward.

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