It appears that the recovery in commodity prices is now starting to spill over to demand for mining workers in Australia.
According to figures released by jobs website Seek on Wednesday, job advertisements for mining, resources and energy industry workers jumped by 66% in the year to February, the fastest of all categories monitored by the group.
“In Western Australia and Queensland, the largest mining states, job ads on Seek were up 57% and 69% respectively this February,” said Michael Ilczynski, managing director for Seek Australia and New Zealand.
“Across both the states it was mining engineers and mining operators that were in the highest demand. In Western Australia alone there are over 500 job opportunities live on SEEK for mining engineers.”
In particular, Ilczynski says that there’s a sustained trend in demand for multi-skilled mining professionals that possess “softer skills” such as team leadership and communication.
“(Firms) are looking for people that fulfil duties beyond the specific job requirements,” he says.
In absolute terms, job advertisements in Queensland and Western Australia increased by 9.3% and 7.5% respectively in February from a year earlier, compared to an 8% increase in advertisements nationally over the same period.
Of the other states and territories, job ads jumped by 21% in South Australia over the year, and by 10% in Victoria.
According to official data released by the ABS, Victoria created more jobs than all of Australia combined in 2016.
Elsewhere, advertisements increased by 9.9%, 4.9%, 5.7% and 4.8% respectively in the ACT, Northern Territory, New South Wales and Tasmania from February 2016.
On Thursday, the ABS will release Australia’s February jobs report. Economists expect employment to lift by 16,500 leaving the unemployment rate steady at 5.7%.