Aussie miners working harder for less money
Mining professionals in Australia are working longer hours for less money than they did two years ago, according to a study released Tuesday by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM).
Average salaries for mineral professionals, including geoscientists and mining engineers, fell 19% over the two-year period from 2012, while the average working week increased by four hours, the research shows.
Many professionals in the field, who work at the most senior levels, are earning less in 2014 than they did in 2008, without adjusting for inflation, the study reveals.
Unemployment among minerals professionals in the sector has continued to increase, while workers are placed under more pressure due to industry downturn. Here is a snapshot of the current situation:
AusIMM chief executive Michael Catchpole said the research showed the toll the minerals downturn has had on industry professionals.
“Minerals professionals have experienced a roller-coaster with strong job opportunities and salaries growth during the minerals boom, and a sudden and significant downward adjustment in the last two years,” he said.
Catchpole added the research paints clear warning signals that minerals professionals are being burned by the boom-to-bust cycle of the minerals sector.
Unemployment rate in the sector (12.2%) reveals the study, is now double that of Australia’s current national rate (6.1%).
Gender pay gap
The report also shows that working conditions for female professionals in the sector have not improved much, as they continue to face a steep pay gap of about 27%.
The findings reinforce what the new Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) report released Monday shows: women are under-represented in senior mining industry roles.
Only 2.7% of mining CEOs are female professionals, who face an increasing gender pay gap with seniority.