Aussie miners positive about 2021 and job prospects

Blast at minesite

Despite the uncertainty the world might be throwing at them, Australia’s miners are feeling positive about 2021. Here’s what our latest MPi Poll discovered.

Despite the lingering threat of coronavirus, a trade war with China and whatever other uncertainty the world might throw at them, Australia’s miners are feeling positive about 2021. 

Over the Christmas period (December 2020 and January 2021) Mining People’s regular poll asked people in the industry a few key questions about their outlook on the industry for the year to come. Here’s what they had to say: 

What do you think the outlook for the mining industry generally is in 2021, compared to 2020? 

  • 6% — Much worse 
  • 39% — About the same 
  • 55% — Much better 

We also asked about perceptions of what the new year might mean for the respondents’ individual salary and job prospects. 

What do you think of the outlook for your mining job prospects in 2021, compared to 2020? 

  • 8% — Much worse 
  • 35% — About the same 
  • 57% — Much better 

What do you think of the outlook for mining salaries in 2021, compared to 2020? 

  • 7% — Much worse 
  • 57% — About the same 
  • 37% — Much better 

What do the results tell us? 

With such overwhelmingly positive responses, perhaps it’s no surprise that just 17% of those surveyed were considering leaving the industry in 2021. It’s probably also no surprise that a breakdown of the figures shows those who answered “much worse” tended to answer the same way on all three questions. 

Of those who thought the outlook for mining was much better in 2021, 84% thought their own job prospects were also much better and 14% thought they were about the same. 

Naturally, there was a similar correlation between respondents overall outlook for mining and their own hopes for mining salaries. Of those who thought mining would do much better in 2021, 54% believed salaries prospects would be better and 44% thought they would be about the same. 

Salaries and staff turnover 

Even those who said they would leave the industry this year weren’t generally negative about mining’s prospects. A quarter of respondents said they felt the industry would do much better in 2021 and just 20% thought it was headed for a much worse time than 2020, with the rest expecting things to go along about as they are. Of those who were leaving, less than 18% thought salaries would be much worse in 2021 (two-thirds thought they would be about the same) — so salaries don’t seem to be the cause of departures. 

In most areas there was no notable difference in the way supervisors and managers replied compared to non-supervisors and non-managers. But the figures did diverge slightly in one area: salary prospects. 



Salary prospects for 2021 



About the same 



Much better 



Much worse 



About the same 



Much better 



Much worse 



It seems those in management level are slightly more positive about mining salaries this year, with most non-management level employees expecting salaries to stay about the same. But this is a marginal difference, really. 

It’s all encouraging news for mining 

So, what’s the wash-up of all this? Well, it’s really encouraging news. It suggests that despite everything that’s going on in the world, those who work in mining generally view their future in it positively. There’s no mass exodus on the cards, nor is there an expectation of the kinds of salary inflation we’ve seen in the past. 

What there’s plenty of in these results is hope. Coupled with the general level of positivity, that’s not a bad place for our industry to be. 


Mining People International has more than 25 years’ specialist experience helping mining companies find the best candidates across every job category. Find out more here or get in touch today. 

Dan Hatch
Mining People International