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Geoscientist unemployment rate improves in June quarter


The national geoscientist unemployment rate has decreased to 8.6 per cent in the June quarter, compared to 10 per cent in the March quarter, according to a survey conducted by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the second quarter improvement has still managed to materialise.

Employment rates showed varied results between states, with Western Australia’s geoscientist unemployment falling, while Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory faced minimal changes.

“This quarter is also the first time since the 2011 minerals boom that geoscientist unemployment has fallen below the unemployment rate for the Australian economy as a whole, pointing to the success of efforts being made to ensure business continuity and resilience during the pandemic,” Australian Institute of Geoscientists president Andrew Waltho said.

“It is very encouraging to see mining and exploration activity continuing across Australia under very difficult conditions.”

Waltho described long-term employment “to be of serious concern” for geoscientists, with 34 per cent of unemployed geoscientists having been out of work for more than 12 months, and 22 per cent who were out of work for more than two years. The survey also found 40 per cent of unemployed geoscientists were not confident in returning to work during the next 12 months.

The survey received responses from 508 geoscientists nationally, but the responses from South Australia fell.

The next survey for the third quarter of 2020 will be conducted at the end of September.

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