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5/15/2016 by mdc
Employment prospects for Australian professional geoscientists deteriorated even further in the opening quarter of 2016, driven down by mining negativity and dashing hopes for an improvement in the geoscientist employment situation. Around half of the unemployed has now been jobless in the sector for 12 months, and around two thirds of jobless have no expectation of returning to their chosen profession anytime soon.

The picture emerged in results of the latest quarterly survey by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) in which respondents provided information about their employment prospects during the first three months of 2016. The figures reinforced that geoscientist employment in Australia has been in continuous decline since September 2011 and has been at Global Financial Crisis levels or worse since September 2013. Alarmingly, the new March 2016 results broke previous worst records, crashing further to the lowest measure of geoscientist employment conditions in Australia since these surveys commenced in June 2009. At 31 March 2016, the unemployment rate amongst Australian geoscientists was 19.5% and the under-employment rate remained at 23.4%

The survey received excellent support with 1013 responses in all. The last Australian census indicated that there are some 8,000 people with geoscientist qualifications in Australia, not all of whom are pursuing a career in the profession.

The unemployment rate increased from 18.7% at the end of December 2016, and the combined unemployed plus underemployed rate increased from 42.1% at the end of December 2015 to 42.9% at the end of March 2016. Almost 60% of self-employed geoscientists were unable to secure more than one quarter of their desired workload during the quarter, pointing to a real unemployment rate of 33.3%.

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