12 September 2012

Mining companies still hiring in Australia

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Despite recent news stories that some mining companies are scaling back investment and employment in some of the largest resource projects in Australia, the majority plan to either continue hiring or increase hiring in the next quarter.

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Demand for coal and iron ore may be starting to slow but the natural gas industry is still going strong say industry experts.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson last month declared the much lauded mining boom to be over after BHP Billiton, one of the largest companies in the mining industry, said it was scrapping plans for two projects worth AU$50 billion (£33 billion). Fellow mining giant Rio Tinto quickly followed suit and said it would also be decreasing expansion in Australia.

However, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey says while operations in the iron ore and coal sector slow down following a drop off in Chinese demand, the liquefied natural gas, shale gas and coal-seam gas industries were undergoing no such slow down.

"There is a lull in some areas, but it is driven by demand and price, but there still seems to be a healthy amount of activity in the resources sector," said Michael Sacco, national client manager at ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand.

"Even with the projects that are being shelved, the majority of workers that are engaged for those projects are being redeployed into other work."

After surveying more than 2,200 Australian employers, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey showed just 14% of employers planned to decrease hiring in the next quarter while 23% said they planned to increase hiring and the remainder planning no change.

ManpowerGroup Australia and New Zealand's managing director, Lincoln Crowley, says news reports sensationalise changes in the mining sector and there is still plenty of opportunity to be found.

"Australia has a strong mining sector and demand for the country's resources still exists," said Mr Crowley.

"What we're seeing now is the low point in a natural cycle, and it will recover."


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