The US Bureau of Labour Statistics released its November employment highlights, and there’s no good news for the mining sector.
After reaching a peak in December 2014, US mining and logging industries have lost 124,000 jobs in the last year alone. 11,000 of those were just in November. The only other industry to post greater losses in the November was the information sector. The movie and sound business lost 12,000 jobs that same month, although there hasn’t been much overall net change in the sector over the last year.
Worst hit by the Anglo American cuts will be South African miners
For mining, things are going to get worse before they get better. Mining Giant Anglo American announced this month it will decrease its workforce by two-thirds and consolidate from six to three businesses. That’s 85,000 jobs cut. The share market responded by driving the mining giant’s stocks down to record lows.
Worst hit by the Anglo American cuts will be South African miners. The company was founded in Johannesburg in 1917, expanded internationally in 1960 and has since maintained a strong local presence. Responding to the planned restructuring, the Congress of South African Trade Unions released a statement that the cuts will result in thousands of job losses.
Lessening demand from China and an overabundance of supply has hit commodity prices hard in the last 12 months, and mining companies that enjoyed explosive growth now have to re-evaluate their businesses.
Australia is also expecting job cuts in the near future. According to the BIS Shrapnel report Mining in Australia 2015 to 2030, released in late-November, mining investment in Australia is expected to decline by almost 60 percent over the next three years.
“Indeed, we are forecasting a further 20,000 job losses in the mining industry over the next three years, on top of the 40,000 direct job losses since the investment peak,” said Adrian Hart, Senior Manager of the Infrastructure and Mining Unit at BIS Shrapnel.