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EMPLOYMENT AND MINING IN QUEENSLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES AND WESTERN AUSTRALIA
EMPLOYMENT TRANSITIONS IN INDUSTRY
In conjunction with a fall in the unemployment rate in each of the three states, a significant shift has occurred in regard to the proportion of employed people across industries. The level of employment in trade-exposed export industries has decreased as a percentage of all people in employment. From 1997 to 2011, the trade-exposed export industries' share of employment, in Qld and WA, reduced 6.7 pts and 4.5 pts respectively (footnote 3) . A similar reduction occurred in NSW: the trade-exposed export industries are 6.4 pts smaller relative to employment for all industries (or less than four-fifths the size they were 15 years ago).
(a) Data for the above graphs reflect individuals’ state of usual residence which is not necessarily the same state in which an individual is employed as in the case of interstate fly-in fly-out workers.
(b) Industry classifications are categorised as detailed below. Not all industries are graphed within the graphs above.
* Trade-exposed export industries includes the agriculture, fishing and forestry; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and education and training industries. Mining and mining related industries are classified separately.
† Mining and related industries includes the mining; rail transport; and heavy and civil engineering construction industries.
‡Non-trade-exposed industries includes the professional, scientific and technical services; administrative and support services; public administration and safety; and health care and social assistance industries.
Corresponding to falls in the share of employment in trade-exposed industries, Qld and WA have seen significant increases in employment shares in mining and related industries, with the same industries in NSW also experiencing a modest increase in employment share. In 2011, Queensland's mining and related industries employed 4.2% of the employed persons across the state where 15 years ago they employed 2.9%. WA's mining and related industries experienced an even greater growth in their share of employment and are more than twice the proportional size of employer compared to the same industries in other states. The industries employed 8.5% of WA's employed persons, a growth of 174% from 1997 in the proportion of employment.
EMPLOYMENT LEVELS IN MINING - COAL AND METAL ORE
While increases in the percentage of employed persons have occurred in the mining and related industries of NSW, Qld and WA, the makeup of their mining industries is quite different. The majority of mining employees in WA are in the metal ore subdivision, in contrast, the industries of Qld and NSW employ people primarily for mining coal.
MINING'S CONTRIBUTION TO EMPLOYMENT
Investment in the mining industry is important for national and state economies, subsequently, levels of employment in mining and related industries command public attention. In the same period that NSW, Qld and WA have seen a combined proportional increase in mining and related industry employment levels of 44%, the professional, administrative, public and health services industries have seen their share of employment rise 26%. But whereas mining and related industries employ just 3.9% of all employed persons across the three states, the professional, scientific, public and health services industries employ more than seven times as many: around 28.7% of the employed population.
The unemployment rate in the mining states is less than two-thirds of what it was 15 years ago. Fewer people now work in trade-exposed export industries relative to mining, but mining and related industries still employ relatively few people in comparison to the growing professional and service industries and the range of other industries which have had consistent levels of employment over time and which employ the majority of workers in Qld, NSW and WA.
1 The trade-exposed export industries discussed here include the agriculture, fishing and forestry; manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and education and training industries. Mining and mining related industries are classified separately. <back
2 Mining and related industries includes the mining; rail transport; and heavy and civil engineering construction industries. <back
3 Figures are derived from averages of four calendar quarters of original estimates. <back
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