Random Analytics: Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan (Jan – Sep 2012)

by Shane Granger

Around the end of last year I started to complete some research into the mining industry, specifically Workforce Planning as it impacts mining and energy. When I look at a new industry I generally poke around for some open source data and environmental scanning to get an understanding of where the sector is going. In the case of mining I was left bereft of any decent and non-biased scanning. Too much environment scanning and commentary was either completed by the sector itself (everything is great/rosy) or by those oppossed to mining (all things mining are evil and so on). So rather than complain about it I commenced putting some qualitative data together, namely Australian Mining stories, discarded any data that was not Workforce Planning and categorised those stories into 16 groups which has created (in my view) some interesting quantitative data.

Here is a first look at the Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan (2012) updated to end of September.

Figure 1: Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan 2012 (Jan-Sep). Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

The standout feature from September has been the very high ratio of employment stories for the month which comprised 44.8% of all Workforce Planning related stories but a staggering 23.4% off ALL stories. So far only January 2009 had a higher figure when Employment stories hit a record high at 52.9% (remember, for Australia the impacts of the GFC started from November 2008).

What is also interesting is that Employment stories have dominated the scanning for three concurrent months post EOFY. June was low but this reflects a generally quiet month for employment activity due to companies focus on finalising EOFY and budgets. The Employment totals as a percentile since July have been:

  • July: 25.9% (61.9% negative, 38.1% positive);
  • Aug: 35.4% (71.4% negative, 28.6% positive);
  • Sep: 44.8% (76.9% negative, 17.9% positive and 5.2% neutral)

Already October is on the wane and although the Employment figures are not as high as September it is still the dominate category (35.7% as at 17/10). Given that this will then become a 4-month trend it will no doubt be the main point of discussion when I update the data & commentary for October in a couple of weeks.

Table 1: Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan Sep 2012 data. Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

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