Mining boom will cost 20,000 jobs: Australia Institute

Beef Central, 23/03/2012


Queensland’s massive mining boom is likely to destroy one non-mining job for every two mining jobs it creates, costing around 20,000 jobs, according to a new analysis by The Australia Institute.

"Job creator or job destroyer? An analysis of the mining boom in Queensland" by the Institute’s Senior Economist Matt Grudnoff examines 39 new mining projects identified for Queensland and finds that the majority of job losses will be in the already struggling manufacturing sector.

“In the final week of the Queensland election campaign what voters need is a more honest discussion about the negative impacts of the mining boom on their State and less cheerleading from mining magnates and politicians,” said Mr Grudnoff in a media release issued this week.

“The mining boom is largely responsible for the high Australian dollar, which has significant knock-on effects for other parts of the economy and in a State like Queensland which normally has a thriving tourism industry, this can be devastating.

“Manufacturing in Queensland has declined 6.5 per cent over the past year and the number of international tourists coming to Queensland has fallen 6 per cent since the beginning of the mining boom. While some mining jobs are well paid, the reality for the 99 per cent of Queenslanders who don’t work in mining is higher housing costs, higher mortgage interest rates and fewer jobs in tourism, manufacturing and agriculture,” said Mr Grudnoff.

While the paper estimates that around 20,000 jobs will be lost in non-mining industries due to Queensland mining projects, it also finds that this figure is likely to be an underestimate.

“The mining boom will continue to drive the high exchange rate which will cause further job losses in other sectors of the economy, that is, rather than be job creators the mines could well be job destroyers,” concluded Mr Grudnoff.


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