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Australian Mineral Sector Jobless Rises to 11%, Institute Says

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Unemployment in Austalia’s minerals sector has grown to almost 11 percent from less then 2 percent within the past year, according to the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

“Traditionally, a downturn in mining industry investment and operations impacts first on exploration geologists and then other professionals,” Geoff Sharrock, president of the institute, said today in a statement. “The impacts this time have been sudden and have bitten deeply into the professional employees who are central to finding, developing and running the mining operations that underpin our economy.”

Mining companies in Australia, the biggest exporter of iron ore and coal, are cutting staff and delaying new operations as a decade-long boom in prices peaks. Growth in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, has slowed as the government seeks to cool a credit-driven expansion.

The survey, conducted across the institute’s 13,500 members, compares with Australia’s unemployment rate of 5.8 percent during August, the highest since 2009.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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