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Australian geoscientist employment survey

The latest Australian geoscientist employment survey is open for contributions.  2019 marks the tenth anniversary of this survey series.

2019 marks the tenth anniversary of AIG's Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey series.
2019 marks the tenth anniversary of AIG’s Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey series.

This latest instalment in the survey series will provide data on trends in geoscientist employment in Australia during the final quarter (October, November, December) of 2018. 

In the September quarter, the Australian geoscientists unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.3%, from 8.5% in the June quarter.  This was the lowest level in several years but coincided with a widely held perception that industry activity and employment opportunities had improved significantly.  The period covered by this survey is typically one of the busiest times in the Australian exploration field season, which makes the muted improvement in employment interesting.

Australian geoscientist employment - June 2009 to September 2018.
Australian geoscientist employment – June 2009 to September 2018.

The survey takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.

Contributions to the survey are required from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 1st February 2019, to allow for the summer holiday season in Australia.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results.

Thanks in advance for your support.

The latest Australian geoscientist employment survey is open for contributions – one week to go!

The latest instalment in the Australian geoscientist employment survey series, looking at the September quarter (Juy to September) of 2018, is open for contributions until next Saturday (27 October).  Please take two or three minutes to contribute to the survey this week if you haven’t already done so.  

This survey, available here, will provide data on trends in geoscientist employment in Australia during the third quarter (July to October) of 2018.  In the June quarter, the Australian geoscientists unemployment rate fell to 8.5%.   This was the lowest level of unemployment seen in several years and the survey results indicated that some long term unemployed geoscientists were returning to work.


Australian geoscientist unemployment – June 2009 to June 2018.

Every state, except Queensland, experienced a decrease in unemployment during the June quarter.  The unemployment rate in Queensland increased from 11.3% at the end of March to 12.2% at the end of June.  In Western Australia, unemployment fell from 9.4% to 7.9%.  In South Australia, the unemployment rate fell from 11.1% to 10.3%.

The period covered by this survey is typically one of the busiest times in the Australian exploration field season, which will make the results of this survey especially interesting.

The survey takes only two or three minutes to complete.  You do not need to be an AIG member to contribute.  No data that could personally identify respondents is collected.  Contributions to the survey are required from both employed and unemployed geoscientists to ensure the relevance of results.  Your completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

The survey will be open for contributions until 27th October.  Every contribution adds to the reliability of the survey results.

Employment recovery kicks in!

Signs of light at the end of the unemployment tunnel?

The latest AIG Australian Geoscientist Employment Survey results for Q4 2017, reviewed today, show that geoscientist unemployment in Australia fell dramatically from 12.2% in Q3 2017 to 7.0% at the end of Q4.

Underemployment also fell from 18.0% to 12.3% in final three months of last year.

The unemployment rate is the lowest recorded since Q3 2012 and combined rate is the lowest since March 2013.

A more complete analysis of the survey results is being prepared.  Watch this site for details.

19 Feb 2018

Geoscientist Employment Recovery Stalled

The latest quarterly survey of Australian geoscientist employment, covering the third quarter of 2017, shows that employment prospects for geoscientists have remained unchanged since March 2017, despite anecdotal evidence pointing to an upturn in mining and exploration industry activity.  The survey was conducted during October 2017 by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG).

Figure 1.  Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia June 2009 – September 2017

The national unemployment rate at 30 September 2017 amongst Australia’s professional geoscientists was 12.2%, up slightly from the 30 June figure of 11.3%.  Underemployment amongst self-employed geoscientists for the same period, however, fell to 18.0% from 19.0%. 

The combined figures point to no improvement in employment prospects for the geoscience professions as a whole since March 2017.

AIG spokesperson Andrew Waltho expressed surprise at the flat result in the latest survey.  “Australian geoscientists were looking forward to an improvement in the employment situation in the September survey due to what appeared to be improved sentiment amongst professional geoscientists”.  “The survey results, however, don’t contain any good news”.  “Unemployment in the mineral exploration sector continues to sit at around 12%”.   “The surprise in this survey’s results was that unemployment in metalliferous mining geology increased from 5.2% in June to 11.0% at the end of September”.

The survey results point to:

  • An ongoing lack of exploration investment in activities that deliver discoveries: mapping, sampling, geophysical surveys and drilling.
  • A decline in orebody knowledge generation – an essential element in optimising the value of known orebodies and generating brownfield discoveries that help to extend the life of mines and provide a basis for mine expansions.  Expansions are, by far, the lowest cost means of adding to our metal and mineral production base.

“We need to remember too that for every job lost in exploration and mining in Australia, three to four other jobs are lost in the broader community” Mr Waltho said.   “Initiatives announced recently by both federal and state governments to promote investment and sponsor drilling of advanced exploration projects don’t appear to be having an impact across the exploration and mining sector”.  “This could be due to none of the initiatives announced tackling the thorny question of access to land and perceptions of growing sovereign risk in Australia”.  “Both of these have a negative impact on investment” Mr Waltho said.  “Recent talk of royalty and tax increases in Western Australia appear to have had an immediate impact on industry sentiment which has already had a negative impact on geoscientist employment” Mr Waltho said.

State unemployment rates were relatively uniform, between 11.0% in New South Wales to 12.3% in Western Australia (Figure 2).   Underemployment results amongst self-employed geoscientists were more broadly spread, ranging from 14.7% in Western Australia to almost 28% in South Australia.  Employment conditions improved in Queensland, and unemployment also fell in both Victoria and South Australia.  In all other states, however, unemployment and underemployment rates were static or increased (Figure 3).

Figure 2.  Geoscientist unemployment and underemployment by State

Figure 3.  Changes in state unemployment and underemployment during Q32 (june – September) 2017

Some 492 responses were received to the survey.

Brisbane, 10 November, 2017

 

March Quarter 2017 Geoscientist Employment Survey Open!

This latest instalment in AIG’s Australian Geoscientist Employment survey series will provide data on trends in geoscientist employment in Australia during the first quarter of 2017.

The improvement in employment prospects for Australia’s geoscientists evident during 2016 came to an end in the final quarter of the year.

At 31st December 2016, the unemployment rate amongst Australian geoscientists was 14.4% and the under-employment rate was 19.5%, up slightly from 13.9% and 18.8% respectively at the end of September 2016. The unemployment and underemployment rates at the end of 2016 were, however, lower than those recorded earlier in the year.

There have been signs of improvement in the employment situation and state of the resource exploration sector in Australia. Consultants are reporting increased workloads but exploration expenditure in Australia remains flat. The land areas held under exploration licence in Australia also continue to decline.

This survey is opening only a relatively short time after the December quarter 2016 survey – this survey opens a month later than usual due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Thanks to your support, this survey series is becoming increasingly recognised as an important indicator of not only geoscientist employment but the general health of the exploration and mining sectors in Australia. The survey results are reported widely and used to promote and inform others of the health of an industry which is vital to Australia’s economy. Importantly, the data supports advocacy by AIG on the need to improve access to land for responsible, well executed resource exploration throughout Australia. Please support this ongoing initiative by taking a few minutes to complete this latest instalment in the survey series and encouraging your friends and colleagues to do so.

You do not need to be an AIG member to participate.  Please note that no data that could personally identify respondents is collected by this survey.

The few minutes of your time spent completing the survey really helps to make a difference to the standing and knowledge of our profession.

Complete the survey now by following this link.  The survey will be open until Friday 28th April.