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Jobs will continue to suffer in mining sector

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New analysis from the Department of Employment has forecast a jobs slump of 4.5 per cent over the next five years.

This would equate to more than 16,000 jobs lost across mining sectors including exploration and coal, by 2019.

The predicted slump is a stark contrast to the 106,700 jobs that have been created in the past five years (to May 2014).

In the five years to May 2012 mining employment nearly doubled, despite the temporary trough caused by kneejerk mining and maintenance closures in 2009 as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.

The report states that in the past two years jobs growth in mining has stalled, increasing by only 4000 positions as mineral prices plateau and plunge, and the industry-wide construction/investment phase wound down.

Overall mining employment in that period has remained steady in all states except Western Australia, losing 13,000 jobs, and New South Wales which lost 7300 jobs.

However, Queensland has improved its lot in the past two years, with an increase of 9900 jobs, attributed to a rise of 8300 jobs in the oil and gas sector, which may be largely upheld by employment on LNG construction projects from pipelines in the Surat Basin to processing plant on Curtis Island.

Median earnings for workers in the mining industry were higher than any other industry with $2071 per week compared to the average across all industries of $1152.

Earnings in mining ranged from $1500 per week up to $2493 per week for oil and gas extraction workers.

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