New figures show job numbers have skyrocketed to record levels in the minerals and exploration sectors in 2021.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the latest Labour Force data reflect the Government’s commitment to investing in the growing new economy minerals sector.
“The Palaszczuk Government has continued to support the resources sector, and it’s so pleasing to see it paying dividends with record employment of Queenslanders across several parts of the sector,” Mr Stewart said.
“This data is evidence of the contribution the resources sector is making to our Government’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan, creating jobs and supporting Queenslanders through the global pandemic.
“The four-quarter average of Queensland jobs in exploration has increased by nearly 70 per cent in 2021 to over 22,600.
“Exploration is the vital first step in finding minerals deposits that go on to create thousands of jobs for Queenslanders.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s Collaborative Exploration Initiative grants have bolstered jobs in exploration by helping small and medium scale miners find those deposits.
“Jobs in the minerals mining and quarrying industries in Queensland have also reached a record four-quarter average of more than 24,100 – up a massive 28.4 per cent year-on-year.
“This underpins the Palaszczuk Government’s firm commitment to ensuring Queenslanders benefit from global trends such as decarbonisation and investment in renewables.”
“We want Queensland to mine, process, and manufacture with those new economy minerals to create jobs and produce royalties that will fund Queensland schools, hospitals and roads.”
Mr Stewart said Queensland has an abundance of new economy minerals that will be important during the global transition to green energy.
“We’ve approved Queensland’s first-ever vanadium mine near Julia Creek in the state’s North West Minerals Province, and put at least $10 million towards a government-owned common-user vanadium processing facility to be built in Townsville,” Mr Stewart said.
“Jobs in minerals mining and quarrying have almost drawn level with jobs in coal mining, which shows the outstanding potential minerals have for creating jobs and economic benefits for our state.”
The resources sector continues to provide outstanding economic benefits for regional Queenslanders, with an increase of nearly 9,000 mining jobs in 2021 compared to 2020, including nearly 4,000 extra jobs in Outback Queensland.
The four-quarter average of the total number of Queensland mining jobs has improved 13.1 per cent to almost 78,000.
Mining accounts for more than 10 per cent of jobs in Central Queensland, more than 15 per cent in the combined Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday regions, and more than a quarter of jobs in Outback Queensland.