Peak Jobs: Australian Part Time versus Full Time Jobs

As the world approaches the eighth anniversary of the Global Recession (or as Australians like to call it, the Global Financial Crisis/GFC) I was recently reminded that even after all that labour and economic pain the mythology of part-time work as a lifestyle or entrepreneurial choice is still alive and even seeing a revival. (h/t for raising the subject Michael Sleap and Vanessa Wiltshire).

I have written about this previously (in 2013 via Random Analytics) but a recent conversation with Vanessa Wiltshire and a consistent discussion within several professional communities including government, finance and HR stressed the importance of updating both the data and the charts.

Two charts really sum up how part-time employment (and by extension underemployment) is driven largely by economic factors rather than by individual choice. Lifestyle/entrepreneur activity over the past decade and a half has increased the big increases of part-time employment during negative economic cycles puts paid to the lifestyle/entrepreneur mantra. In effect the bulk of Australians are price takers when it comes to employment.

1 - PTvsFTJobs_1978~2015

The above chart details the rise of the various employment types and unemployment in Australia over the past 37-years. Data-points since 1978 (numbers rounded to nearest thousand):

  • Full-Time Employment has risen from 5,076,000 to 8,156,000, a 60.7% increase
  • Part-Time Employment has risen from 917,000 to 3,612,000, a 293.9% increase
  • Unemployment has risen from 423,000 to 756,000, a 78.7% increase
  • Underemployment has risen from 165,000 to 1,039,000, a 529.7% increase

As the data demonstrates, during the past approx. four decades there has been an almost 300% rise in part-time employment and a greater than 500% rise in underemployment (in simple terms underemployment equates to not enough part-time employment or full employment but not paid enough).

An additional and important consideration: Currently the underutilisation rate (the unemployment and the underemployment rate combined) stands at 14.1%. That means one in every seven Australians would like more work and by default is unhappy about their current lack of a job, their part-time employment arrangement or their contractual arrangements.

Now let’s look at that data again but from a timeframe that roughly equates with the beginning of the GFC in 2008. I’ve used the start date of July 2008 although the real employment impacts didn’t hit Australia until later that year.

2 - PTvsFTJobsSurplusDeficit_sinceGFC

The Part-Time versus Full-Time Jobs Surplus/Deficit since GFC chart details the employment losses and gains since July 2008 through to June 2015. Data-points again:

  • Full-Time Employment has risen by 479,000 from 7,676,000, a 6.3% increase
  • Part-Time Employment has risen by 550,000 from 3,061,000, a 18% increase
  • Unemployment has risen by 282,000 from 473,000, a 59.8% increase
  • Underemployment has risen by 373,000 from 666,000, a 56% increase

The spread between part-time and full-time employment is most apparent during the height of the GFC in Australia, namely 2009/2010. That is permanent jobs were lost either for good OR replaced by contingent arrangements generally as a consequence of companies reducing hours or because individuals took up contingent employment (such as contracting/consulting) because they had few other options.

Interestingly, as the economy has adjusted to the post-GFC era both full and part-time jobs have roughly kept pace with each other although contingent employment comes off a lower base number, thus the percentile increase is three-times greater than permanent positions.

Another very interesting point is that underemployment exceeded full-time, part-time and unemployment during the first quarters of the GFC (again, as people suffered redundancy or reduced hours) and then more recently underemployment exceeded full-time employment briefly for two quarters (Aug to Nov 2014).

Final Thoughts

As I first noted in 2013 the first phase of Peak Jobs was offshoring of machine like jobs which has seen a massive decrease in Australian manufacturing employment. The second phase (and the one we are currently transitioning through) is the rise of contingent employment. Some of that is by choice but for most it is chosen for them.

Additionally, the very recent spike in underemployment over full-time employment might be the first signal that we are now transitioning away from contingent arrangements mainly for economic reasons (such as economic downturns) and we are now starting to see the first noticeable impacts of automation and augmentation.

The question now – Is the real economy becoming impacted by the Check-Out Personnel who works up to a dozen self-checkouts, the Operator Plant in the Pilbara who is slowly being replaced by automated trucks or the Administration Staffer who are seeing reduced hours due to more efficient systems?

Only time will tell whether we have reached this third phase of Peak Jobs (Automation) but can we please stop trying to sell part-time employment as a lifestyle or an entrepreneurial choice because the bulk of Australians with mortgages and kids would probably prefer a full-time job with good lifestyle benefits.

 

Note: For the record, I am currently working part-time, not because of circumstances but because of choice. Yes, I am one of those serial lifestyle/entrepreneur types!

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, Jun 2015. Accessed 3 August 2015.
[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics. Table 22. Labour underutilisation by Age and Sex – Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original. Accessed 3 August 2015.

Peak Jobs: Australian Mining Employment (Half Year 2015)

I have always stated that policy makers and commentators should not get confused between construction and operational mining employment yet the fact remains that even as the mining boom (MkII) ends they still manage to mangle the numbers. As I pen my first Mining Employment blog for 2015 it was good to see that Greg Jericho has written a very good piece on mining engineering which has seen a massive downturn in the past twelve months. As always there are lots of charts which gives you a very ‘big picture’ look at the mining downturn from the CAPEX perspective.

In terms of operational employment the past six months have been consistently negative.

1 - MiningJobsByState_Infographic_H12015_150706 (2)

So far every month there has been a deficit of mining jobs (overall) and the only State or Territory to have recorded a net increase in the first two quarters was the Northern Territory (+125 overall). The iron ore state of Western Australia saw the biggest decrease with almost 3,000 jobs lost, while New South Wales and South Australia surpassed the other big mining State of Queensland with sub thousand reductions.

2 - MiningGainsLosses_Chart_150707

As Greg Jericho correctly pointed out spending on mining infrastructure has fallen off a cliff and this is reflected in the employment gains over the past year where construction projects have only featured in three months for a total of 920-jobs. To give that context there were more than 1,000 construction jobs created in each of the months of April and May 2014 and if you were to go back to September 2013 you saw 6,390 jobs added.

Job losses were consistently higher than any gains and we are starting to see a slight increase in support role announcements as mining companies sharpen their pencils and further offshore mining manufacturing (Caterpillar) cut office staff (BHP and South32) and the gas projects in Queensland wind up (Bechtel). Overall there were just 270 mining related job gains against a 1,129 loss (a deficit of 859).

3 - MiningResourceGainsLosses_Chart_150707

Iron ore continued to cut during the first four months of the year but went quiet over May and June.

Of Note: In the months of February and March the Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) effectively laid off 700 operational staff at Christmas Creek when it announced that MacMahon would lose its contract to Downer EDI, however approximately a fortnight later Downer EDI announced that it would keep 400 staff on.

Coal reported losses in five out of the six months and Gold lost 600 workers at Newcrest’s Cadia Valley Operations although the exact numbers between infrastructure and operational were not made clear.

4 - MiningSectorSentiment_Chart_150707

The mining employment sentiment was predictably negative for the first two quarters of 2015 with ongoing job cuts consistently outweighing any positive news stories. As per previous downturns there has been a noticeable increase in government announcements on mining projects as both State and Federal governments push through approvals (treated as positive sentiment). At the same time there have been numerous discussions around the viability of certain mines in Australia (Carmichael Coal) as well as a lot of corporate refinancing as companies start to come to terms with the decrease in their commodities pricing.

I have also been able to push back the sentiment data to July 2010, a month that was positive and would continue to remain so for a full two years.

Final Thoughts

Interestingly the latest Detailed Labour force data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics saw a small increase in mining employment to 224,000 in the three months to May (trend figures) and the 220,000-230,000 band has been maintained over the past three releases (nine months).

I’m still seeing strong operational employment declines in my data and I know that the ABS conflates construction and operational jobs in its detailed labour force figures so it is my strong view that we will see mining employment move back under 200,000 either by the end of this year or very early next year.

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, May 2015. Accessed 7 July 2015.

Peak Jobs: HSBC to cut 50,000 from headcount

Last week I blogged on how the boss of HSBC, Stuart Gulliver, was considering cutting 20,000 staff from a current global workforce of 257,600.

In an unexpected move last night HSBC confirmed that transformation savings will trim $5Bn from the bottom line and will impact some 22,000-25,000 roles including streamlining IT projects (always a big cost for banks).

At the same time the group is also stating its intent to sell its operations in Turkey (4,000 roles) and Brazil (21,000). There is also now wide speculation that HSBC will move its HQ from London to Hong Kong which is a lower taxation environment and also might consider re-branding its UK operations as Midland (which it fully acquired in 1992) with the intent of selling its Main Street banks in favour of concentrating on its High Street operations.

To get a better sense of where HSBC has positioned itself from when Stuart Gulliver took over in 2011 and previously to that in a global sense I thought a look at the historic employment numbers would be worthwhile.

1 - 150610_Chart_HSBCEmployment_1998-2015

HSBC reached peak employment in 2007 (with 315,520 full-time equivalents) and is most unlikely to reach those global numbers ever again. On the current investor update the company will move to trim a further 50,000 jobs over the next 2-3 years from 257,600 to 207,600. Given that the consensus opinion and the investor updates have stated a cut of 50,000 as its objective those are the numbers I have modelled in the above HSBC Employment 1998-2015/17 chart. As per the ABC analysis (see: HSBC to cut up to 50,000 jobs worldwide, withdraw operations from Brazil, Turkey) and the most recent HSBC annual report I have reduced LAM employment by 21,000 (Brazil) and Europe by 12,000 (Turkey and the UK). The other 17,000 jobs cuts have been proportionally spread across the regions.

On a positive note the employment numbers for Asia (and by default Australia) have remained strong and even though they peaked in 2010 at 120,778 and might drop by around 10% due to the current transformation savings (I modelled a reduction from the current 118,322 to around 106,000) there is a very strong possibility that by 2017 you might see a strong pickup in Asian region employment, especially if they move corporate headquarters or buy up local operations.

What is bad news for Boris Johnson, the current mayor of London might be good news for the future mayor of Sydney!

 

Data Sources

[1] HSBC. Financial and regulatory reports. Accessed 10 June 2015.

Peak Jobs: Australia records three mining deaths in a week

Productivity, Cost Efficiency and Safety are the three core reasons mining companies across Australia and the globe are moving towards automation and augmentation. Every industrial accident on a mine site in Australia increases the argument for less people and more machines at the coal face. This has never been more relevant than in Australia where mining deaths are on the rise even as mining employment comes off generational highs. Peak Jobs Analysis looks at the numbers.

After a break of eight weeks since the fourth mining fatality the industry has recorded three industrial accident deaths in a single week.

The fifth mining death occurred at the Birla-Nifty Copper mine in West Australia on Monday (11th May). Worker dies at Pilbara copper mine (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Excerpt:

A 46-year-old man from Joondalup has died at a copper mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum said the incident happened at Aditya Birla Minerals Nifty copper mine, about 350 kilometres east of Port Hedland late yesterday. Department inspectors are investigating at the site. Police have also confirmed they are investigating and will prepare a report for the coroner.

The sixth mining death occurred at the Telfer Gold-Copper mine also in West Australia on Friday (15th May). Contractor dies at Newcrest’s Telfer gold mine, second WA mining fatality in one week (via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). Excerpt:

A 28-year-old contractor has died at a remote gold mine in Western Australia’s north, the second mining fatality in the state this week. The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) said the incident happened at Newcrest’s Telfer mine about 3:30am on Friday. Newcrest said the man was working in an underground mine when he was fatally injured. The mine site is located in the Great Sandy Desert, in the Pilbara region.

This is the third mining fatality recorded at the Telfer mine after single fatalities were recorded in 2000 and 2013.

The seventh mining death occurred at the Sun Metals refinery in Stuart, Queensland on Saturday morning (16th May). Sun Metals worker dies on site (via the Townsville Bulletin). Excerpt:

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched into the death of a man who was trapped under a piece of machinery at the Sun Metals refinery. The 36-year-old man died on Saturday morning after being trapped under a hydraulic arm. It comes after a workplace incident last year which left a worker with multiple broken bones after being crushed by a hydraulic arm. Emergency services were called to the site at about 8.35am on Saturday. Police, paramedics and firefighters and Workplace Health and Safety Queensland representatives all attended the scene on Zinc Rd in Stuart. The Bulletin understands the man may have died before emergency services arrived.

Since the 12th March there has also been a single (potentially double) mining related incident.

The third mining related death (Lifestyle) occurred at Table Top, West Australia sometime in late March. Jennie & Raymond Kehlet (via the WA Police). A mystery indeed! Excerpt:

WA Police are investigating the death of Raymond Kehlet, aged 47, and the disappearance of his wife Jennie Kehlet, aged 49. The Kehlets, who are from Beverley, attended an area approximately 30 km south of Sandstone on March 19 where they set up a camp and intended prospecting in the area. The prospecting was conducted on foot and they were also using a red quad bike (four wheel motorcycle). On March 28 the Kehlet’s dog, a dark coloured Great Dane, was found at the Sandstone Caravan Park. The local shire commenced inquiries into identifying the dog’s owners through a micro-chip implant. As a result of the Kehlet family being notified about the dog the shire then attended the Kehlet’s campsite on March 30 and found no person there. The Kehlets were formally reported missing to the WA Police on March 31 and an extensive land search and rescue operation was commenced.

Here are the updated charts for 2015

1 - 150520_Chart_MiningFatalities2015

The Mining & Related Fatalities (2015) chart tracks deaths by month and type while the Provisional Workplace Fatality Rate (PWFR) tracks deaths per 100,000 workers.

The current PWFR is 25.7 deaths per 100,000. At best with no further fatalities in the industry this year the PWFR will reduce to 3.2. To give that some context and to suggest how bad the figures are shaping up for this year the ABS noted that the annual Workforce Fatality Rate in 2009/2010 was 3.5 when just six deaths were recorded. My Expanded Workplace Fatality Rate (EWFR) which includes mining related fatalities and suicides is currently 33.0.

2 - 150520_Chart_MineFatalities_1999~2015

The Mining Fatalities (1999 – 2015) chart looks at mining deaths since Calendar Year 1999 through to 2015 (provisional).

Currently an industrial incident resulting in death is occurring every 19.4 days. If the rate of fatalities continues at the current pace then mining fatalities for 2015 could be in the range of 17 – 18.

 

The 2015 Australian Mining Fatalities Roll-Call has been updated.

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, Jun 2011. Accessed 20 May 2015.
[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Feb 2015. Accessed 20 May 2015.
[3] Safe Work Australia. Worker Fatalities. Accessed 20 May 2015.

Peak Jobs: Australia records its fourth mining fatality in 2015

The fourth mining death has been recorded in Australia with the story via Australian Mining. Worker killed at Blackwater coal mine. Excerpt:

A worker has been killed at BMA’s Blackwater coal mine in a vehicle rollover incident. It occurred early this morning. BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) confirmed the incident. The BMA spokesperson stated that an incident occurred (sic) involving a raptor transporter vehicle, and “has sadly resulted in a fatality”. “Authorities are currently on site investigating the incident and we are providing our full support,” BMA stated. “We are also conducting our own investigations to understand how this incident could have occurred and to ensure every action is taken to prevent something similar in future.

This is the fourth mine death recorded at Blackwater since 1997 (by my account) and the second in Queensland in 2015. Known details of the three previous incidents at Blackwater include:

  • 4 May 1997: Dale Gadsby (unknown age & occupation) who was killed in a vehicle accident;
  • 12 Apr 2002: Chris Belfield (aged 49 with unknown occupation) who was trapped by moving machinery or equipment;
  • 20 Feb 2009: John Barker (aged 33 with unknown occupation) who was killed in a vehicle accident.

No mining related fatalities have currently been observed since the previous industrial fatality.

Here are the updated charts for 2015

1 - 150312_Chart_MiningFatalities2015

The Mining & Related Fatalities (2015) chart tracks deaths by month and type. Additionally, the Provisional Workplace Fatality Rate (PWFR) tracks deaths per 100,000 workers in the mining sector. The PWFR is currently 17.5 deaths per 100K. The Expanded Workplace Fatality Rate (EWFR) which includes mining related fatalities is currently 26.2.

Next

2 - 150312_Chart_MineFatalities_1999~2015

The Mining Fatalities (1999 – 2015) chart looks at mining deaths since Calendar Year 1999 (with 2015 as provisional). An industrial incident resulting in death is currently occurring every 17.8 days. If the rate of fatalities continues at the current pace then mining fatalities for 2015 will be in the range of 20 – 21.

 

The 2015 Australian Mining Fatalities Roll-Call has been updated.

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2014. Accessed 13 March 2015.
[2] Safe Work Australia. Worker Fatalities. Accessed 13 March 2015.

Peak Jobs: Australia records third mining fatality in 2015

A third Australian mining death in 2015 has quickly followed the second, this time in a Queensland coal mine. Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Coal miner killed by exploding tyre in central Queensland. Excerpt:

A coal mine worker has been killed and another person has been badly injured in a mining accident this morning in central Queensland. Queensland Police said a tyre had exploded at a mine near Moura, 180km south-west of Rockhampton. The Queensland Ambulance Service said one person has been taken to the Theodore Hospital with fractures. Investigations into the incident are underway.

Australian Mining has more details and a good background on another tyre explosion fatality at the Foxleigh coal mine which is also owned by Anglo American. Worker dies at Dawson coal mine. Excerpt:

A coal miner has been killed and another man seriously injured after a tyre exploded at Anglo American’s Dawson coal mine. The incident occurred this morning at about 5:30 am local time, according to the ABC. It is understood that a second man was injured in the incident, reportedly suffering a shoulder injury, and has been taken to Theodore Hospital for treatment. Operations at the site are contracted to Leighton Holdings.

This is the second mine death recorded at Dawson since 2005.

  • 20 September 2005: Roger Browne (aged 41 a mining engineer who was contracted by Ostwald Brothers) was killed after falling down a high wall.

No mining related fatalities have been observed since the incident at BHP’s Olympic Dam Copper-Uranium mine claimed the life of Brian Partington (10 February 2015).

Here are the updated charts for 2015:

1 - 150216_Chart_MiningFatalities2015

The Mining & Related Fatalities (2015) chart tracks deaths by month and type along with a Provisional Workplace Fatality Rate (PWFR). The PWFR is currently 14.42. The Expanded Workplace Fatality Rate (EWFR) which includes mining related fatalities is currently 19.22.

2 - 150216_Chart_MineFatalities_1999~2015

The Mining Fatalities (1999 – 2015) chart looks at mining deaths over the past 17-years (2015 data is currently provisional). An industrial incident resulting in death is currently occurring every 16 days. If the rate of fatalities continues at the current pace then the toll for 2015 will be in the range of 22 – 23.

 

The 2015 Australian Mining Fatalities Roll-Call has been updated.

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2014. Accessed 16 February 2015.
[2] Safe Work Australia. Worker Fatalities. Accessed 16 February 2015.

Peak Jobs: Australia records its second Mining Fatality in 2015

A second Australian mining fatality has occurred, this time at BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Copper-Uranium mine. Via the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Man dies after rock fall at Olympic Dam mine site. Excerpt:

A man has died following an accident at BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam mine site in Roxby Downs, South Australia. Police were called just before 6:30am to the site after a rock fall in an underground mine. Brian Partington, a 47-year-old father of three from Tumby Bay, on the state’s Eyre Peninsula died at the scene.

Also, via the BHP Billiton Corporate Website. Fatality at Olympic Dam. Detail:

BHP Billiton Olympic Dam is deeply saddened to advise that an employee working at its underground mine was fatally injured in an incident this morning, Tuesday 10 February 2015. The next of kin and family have been informed and we are working closely with the authorities on the matter. A full investigation is underway. We extend our deepest condolences and support to our colleague’s family and friends, as well as our other employees and contractors at this difficult time.

This is the third mine death recorded at Olympic Dam since 1998.

  • 6 March 1998: A worker was killed in an industrial accident while the site was still owned by Western Mining Corporation (the details are sketchy because the details have not be digitalised);
  • 19 July 2005: Karl Eibl (34) was killed underground by a premature ignition explosion shortly after BHP Billiton purchased the Olympic Dam site.

This is the second recorded mining fatality for 2015 with an industrial incident resulting in death occurring every 20.5-days (on average). No mining related fatalities have been observed since the last mining fatality at Woodie Woodie on the 20th January.

Here are the updated charts for 2015:

1 - 150211_Chart_MiningFatalities2015

The Mining & Related Fatalities (2015) chart tracks deaths by month and type along with a Provisional Workplace Fatality Rate (PWFR). The PWFR is currently 9.61. Although not included in this chart I am also looking at an Expanded Workplace Fatality Rate (EWFR) in 2015 which includes mining related fatalities. The EWFR is currently 14.4.

2 - 150211_Chart_MineFatalities_1999~2015

The Mining Fatalities (1999 – 2015) chart looks at mining deaths over the past 17-years (2015 data is currently provisional). If the rate of fatalities continues at the current pace (one death every 20.5-days) then the toll for 2015 will be between 17 – 18.

 

The 2015 Australian Mining Fatalities Roll-Call has been updated.

 

To the Lost

 

Data Sources

[1] Australian Bureau of Statistics. 6291.0.55.003 – Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, Nov 2014. Accessed 11 February 2015.
[2] Safe Work Australia. Worker Fatalities. Accessed 11 February 2015.