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It's beginning to smell like a mining boom as Qld jobs hit record 85,000


If it isn’t a mining boom it is starting to look like one with the sector employing a record 85,000 people in Queensland.

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Prices for key commodities like copper continue to climb because of demand from China. Zinc is trending down from high levels, but coal has experienced a renaissance and iron ore from Western Australia is still at record levels. Exports hit a record $12.7 billion in May.

Using Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, the Queensland Resources Council said the jobs figure was an 11 per cent increase on the previous record of 80,594 set in the dying days of the resources boom. 

While China has banned Australian coal exports India has picked up the slack with exports to the nation hitting a record high of 2.4 million tonnes. 

But the mining sector is not alone. Figures released this week showed job advertisement increased over the month of May, driven by strong gains in Queensland, with recruitment activity increasing 6.4 per cent, or by 2900 job advertisements, within the state.

This increase exceeds the gains observed for all other states and territories combined during May 2021.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said there had been a 29 percent increase, or 19,083 more jobs, over the 12-month period since the May 2020 quarter. 

“This is great news for the Queensland economy and for all the direct and indirect jobs that flow on from these extra mining jobs,” Macfarlane said.

“We’re very fortunate in Queensland to have an abundant and diverse resources base, supported by decades of mining experience and a world-class mining, engineering and technology services (METS) sector.” 

 The ABS figures show exploration and other mining support service jobs increased by 93 percent, or 12,260 jobs, over the 12-month period from May 2020 – 2021. 

 Metals’ mining jobs in particular drove the increase over the quarter, with employment up by 47 percent, or 8101 jobs.  Oil and gas employment also increased by 2549 jobs, or 49 percent, over the quarter.  

 Macfarlane said the resources industry will continue to be the economic backbone of Queensland, as long as the right economic, social and environmental policy settings are in place to support sustainable growth. 

“That’s why the State Government’s resources industry development plan is so important to get right, because Queensland has an opportunity to be a global energy superpower if we plan well for the future.  



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