Geoscientist unemployment and under-employment in Australia between June 2009 and September 2016.
By Reuben Adams
EMPLOYMENT prospects are gradually improving for Australia’s professional geoscientists, who were laid off in large numbers during the commodity downturn.
The latest quarterly survey by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) found that the unemployment rate amongst Australian geoscientists was 13.9 per cent and the under-employment rate was 18.9 per cent – an improvement of 2 per cent and 1.8 per cent from the previous quarter, respectively.
South Australia recorded the highest combined rate of unemployment and underemployment; at the other end of the scale Queensland unemployment and under-employment rates fell by 5.5 per cent and 3.2 per cent, respectively.
More than 88 per cent of employed geoscientists were confident of retaining employment for more than 12 months, and almost 11 per cent returned to full employment in the September quarter following a period of unemployment.
More than a quarter of employed respondents reported that their employment conditions had improved during the September quarter, 57 per cent reported no change in employment conditions, and almost 17 per cent reported that their employment conditions had declined.
AIG Council member Andrew Waltho said the two successive quarters of improved employment numbers were most welcome.
“There has been growing anecdotal evidence that the situation for geoscientists has been improving as the exploration and mining sectors recover from what has been a prolonged and damaging downturn,” Mr Waltho said.
“The impacts of recent commodities prices probably came too late to be reflected in this survey but we will be keenly watching the results of the next survey in December.”