In a report below, the unemployment rate among mining professionals in Australia hits new highs going from 1.7% in 2012 to 16.2%. This is reflected across the world as commodities prices hit new lows. When Engineers are getting the boot you know that things are bad! In all seriousness though, it seems nothing has been learned and the industry lives in a perpetual groundhog day moment. The boom bust cycles continue with massive retrenchment and curtailment of exploration when times are bad and cry’s of skills shortage and unsustainable high salary packages at the peak of the commodity cycle. The very companies that have the resources to “smooth” out these bumps ie. “The Majors”, are active participants in the cycle, showing little restraint in the good times, with over-priced acquisitions and massive capital expenditures based on unrealistic commodity forecasts and then decimating their workforce, writing down their overpriced acquisitions and capital projects and selling “non-core” assets at a pittance.
All we need to know now is when that pesky rodent will stick his head back out of his hole!