Random Analytica

Random thoughts, charts, infographics & analysis. Not in that order

Month: December, 2012

Random Analytics: Mining Workforce Planning Scan (Dec 2012)

Here is the last Australian Mining Workforce Planning Scan updated to the 14th December which is the finalisation of Australian Mining until early 2013.

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Figure 1: Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan 2012 (Jan-Dec). Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

With only 10-days of data available (the minimum to calculate a decent trend) Employment and Workplace Health & Safety (WH&S) continued to be the dominant stories in December.

This is the sixth straight month where employment stories have been the leading workforce planning issue but there was an improvement in the percentile of positive stories even though the negative trend continued. In the month of November there were 9 unique employment stories, 5 being negative (297 jobs lost) and 3-positive stories (30 jobs gained).

The further breakdown of Employment stories for July through to December (as per the yellow data line):

  • July: 25.9% (61.9% negative, 38.1% positive);
  • Aug: 35.4% (71.4% negative, 28.6% positive);
  • Sep: 44.8% (76.9% negative, 17.9% positive and 5.2% neutral);
  • Oct: 35.8% (83.3% negative, 16.7% positive);
  • Nov: 32.9% (72% negative, 28 % positive);
  • Dec: 31% (55.6% negative, 33.3% positive and 11.1% neutral).

Here is a closer look at the monthly data breakdowns.

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Table 1: Data for Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan Dec 2012. Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

Of note were a slight increase in stories relating to Diversity since November after Professor Marcia Langton raised the issue of an Aboriginal Australia middle class. Diversity stories which averaged just 2.1% over the year rock-bottomed between June and September as commodity prices crashed and mining companies looked for savings across their P&L.

A couple more graphs to close out the year. First of all is a look at the data breakdowns for 2012.

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Table 2: Data for Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan Jan – Dec 2012. Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

The year of 2012 was really a story of two halves. Before July it was an industry still with great CAPEX projections, continued FDI growth through to 2014/2015, industrial action, skills shortages and wage pressures. From July the mining sector was dominated by collapsing terms of trade, the high Australian dollar, cost savings and redundancies.

To highlight the transition I’ve added a look at the data in two halves. For me the data for Employment and Recruit/Retain (Recruitment and Retention) sums it up. In the first half of the year the annual Employment stories were at just 29.8% while Recruit/Retain was at 70% of their yearly total. During the last half of the year as unemployment stories surged and recruitment/retention stories declined the figures had reversed reflecting the difficult conditions for mining over the past six months.

Out of interest, here is some baseline data I did for the first Quarter of 2009 (Jan – Mar only). As you can see, although the mining industry collapsed in Oct – Nov 2008 you can already see the largely negative employment stories declining (as stimulus packages were deployed across Australia and China) and by March the WH&S stories returning to longer term normalised levels. Although it would have been interesting to baseline for 2008 and 2009 I just didn’t have the time.

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Figure 2: Australian Mining Workforce Planning Environmental Scan 2009 (Jan-Mar). Data sourced from Australian Mining Newsletter & News Archive. Some stories have been verified against primary resources (i.e. ASX, commercial websites and other news agencies).

My last pick of the month for December goes to the Australian Mining story wishing everyone a Merry X-Mas and a Happy New Year. Not only do I wish to share that sentiment with all of you but I received an unsolicited special mention in dispatches for my input to the online magazine during 2012. I very much appreciated the thought. In return I’d like to specifically thank two Australian Mining staff for their support in building this Mining Workforce Planning Scan and Db. They are Andrew Duffy who was a great help on industry specific questions as I had a lot to learn about the industry over the past year and Sharon Amos who greatly assisted me mid-year when my email address was dropped unannounced.

Merry X-Mas to all of you working in or around the mining industry and a Happy New Year.

Random Analytics: Federal Twitterati Report

Earlier this week there was a lot of discussion about an apparent ban on Liberal backbenchers having access to Twitter. On the 9th December the King of political Tweeting, Kevin Rudd, tweeted:

“So Tony Abbott is banning Liberals from Twitter freedom… welcome to #21stCenturyAbbottStyle KRudd”

I’ve done some analysis of the Twitter-sphere as it concerns both the Australian House of Representatives and the Senate with some interesting results.

The Senate Twitter enrolment for 2007 (including territories) was only 52.5% compared to 2010 which increased to 60%. The current House of  Representatives is a much stronger 70%.

First of all, the Liberal Party and the Liberal National Party of Queensland, rather than being the social media luddites that some have made out this week are actually better represented on Twitter than the Labor Party. The total conservative percentile including the Country Liberal Party (NT) and the Nationals at 65.1% was also higher than the combined Labor percentile. The only party that was totally represented were the Greens and the lowest total was the Nationals on 36.4%.

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Figure 1: Twitter Usage by Party (as a Percentile). Data sourced from Twitter. The Independent percentile also includes the single member for the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) of Australia.

Who had the most followers (as at 12/12/2012)?

No surprise that it wasn’t the PM but it’s interesting that both former leaders, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull have larger followings than the current PM or leader of the opposition.

Both deputies (Wayne Swan and Julie Bishop) were included in the top 10 as was the foreign minister (Bob Carr, who coincidently had the most followers of anyone in the Senate) and the Minister for Minister for Employment Participation – Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care (Kate Ellis). As previously mentioned the Opposition Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband (Malcolm Turnbull) was third while the Shadow Treasurer (Joe Hockey) was fifth.

At number eight was Adam Bandt, the only House of Representative Greens Party member. With 53,007 followers if Bob Brown had still been in the Senate he would have ranked 5th above Joe Hockey.

Outside of the top 10, Barnaby Joyce had the most Twitter followers from the Liberal National Party of Queensland or the National Party (12,609 which placed him 22nd). Bob Katter had 6,886 followers which put him in 31st place.

With just two followers and a locked down Twitter account Yvette D’Ath had the fewest followers with just 2 ranking her 147th. 79 Members or Senators did not have Twitter accounts.

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Table 1: Top 10 Australian Federal Member or Senator sorted by number of followers. Data sourced from Twitter 11 – 12 December 2012.

Who were the busiest tweeters (again, as at 12/12/2012)?

The title goes to the former Army lawyer and now Member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly. The Top 10 tweeters are dominated by those Members and Senators who have chosen Twitter as a vehicle to get their message out and be responsive to questions or requests from the public.

Noticeable by his absence on Twitter was the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

What was interesting here was the actual low totals. On average each Member or Senator had just tweeted 1,134 times each. For context as someone who roughly tweets on average 5 – 10 times per day (which is not much compared to others) I’ll rack up about 2,000 tweets or thereabouts per year. The low overall numbers suggest a large part of the political twitterati only tweet as necessary but I’d also suggest there has been a late adoption by many to the Twitter community.

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Table 2: Top 10 Australian Federal Member or Senator sorted by volume of tweets. Data sourced from Twitter 11 – 12 December 2012.

I thought a look at twitterati followers by which States they were following would be interesting. As you can see by Figure 2 the graph is completely skewed by a dominate Queensland (aka Kevin Rudd).

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Figure 2: Twitter Followers by Federal Member/Senator (All Parties). Data sourced from Twitter.

Although it makes a nice change to see Queensland dominating Kevin Rudd’s tally of 1,177,283 makes up an astonishing 47.1% of all followers of any political persuasion. Thus, here’s a look at the data without Kevin.

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Figure 3: Twitter Followers by Federal Member/Senator (All Parties) minus Kevin Rudd. Data sourced from Twitter.

Finally a look at Twitter followers by political party. With Kevin…

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Figure 4: Twitter Followers by Political Party of Federal Member/Senator. Data sourced from Twitter.

And without Kevin…

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Figure 5: Twitter Followers by Political Party of Federal Member/Senator minus Kevin. Data sourced from Twitter.

As the last graph shows @KRuddMP might be right in having a swipe at Liberal Party discussions around their social media strategy.

Guess he can say what he likes. Given he owns 47.1% of all twitter followers and 58.9% of the federal labour Twitter audience he really does have ‘skin in the game’.

Random Analytics: Queensland Mining: Employment by Region

Over the past couple of years I’ve seen multiple presentations about mining employment and its impact on employment. As per a recent article ‘The Myth of Mining Employment’ I actually detailed just what a low employer the mining industry is.

Queensland is currently one of the worst performing economies in terms of state based unemployment so I thought it would be interesting to look at the most recent Census 2011 data and detail where the current mining employment is, the actual real numbers and at what concentrations they are in terms of overall employment and population.

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Figure 1: Queensland Mining Employment by Regions as a total. Data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Queensland Office of Economic and Statistical Research.

Numbers don’t tell the whole story so I’ve also cut the graph to show the percentile employed in mining to the total employed population. As the graphic shows the mining hubs of Mackay, the Queensland Outback, Fitzroy and the Darling Downs all have higher than average mining employment numbers. While the large numbers from Brisbane reflect the concentration of corporate headquarters plus the natural centre for state Fly-In Fly-Out operations.

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Figure 2: Queensland Mining Employment by Regions as a percentile of total employed population. Data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Census 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Queensland Office of Economic and Statistical Research.

As I’ve talked about previously, mining is not a big overall employer. When the Census occurred in August 2011 there were 226,900 Australians employed in mining, of which 44,000 resided in Queensland (or 19.4%). As at August of 2012 that number had increased by almost 50,000 to 275,200 so you could extrapolate that on state averages Queensland may have increased its mining employment by 10,000 or so over the past year.

The big employment opportunities for mining are in the infrastructure phases which are now coming off once in generational highs but still have forward momentum at least over the short term. Unfortunately, most of the discussion around mining employment looks to the large infrastructure based numbers currently in play and forgets the evidence that is freely available.

Random Analytics: Labour Figures (Nov 2012)

Here is my first response to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics labour figures as presented via The Hon Bill Shorten MP’s 6 December 2012 press release. In that Minister Shorten stated:

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, welcomed today’s stronger than expected employment result, highlighting that 843,800 jobs had been created since the Labor Government came to office five years ago (or around 460 jobs per day), an outstanding achievement, given fragile global growth, record high unemployment in the euro area and ongoing uncertainty around the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ in the United States.

First of all let me congratulate the Gillard government on a long term trend of delivering jobs growth during the worst employment conditions experienced by our northern hemisphere OECD partners. Only today Greece topped 26% official unemployment with youth unemployment breaking through the 56% mark (conditions that have not been present in any European country since the 1930’s).

Although the seasonally adjusted figures were an additional 13,900 jobs added over the past month the trend details show a very impressive story of job additions since the GFC took hold in Australia in late 2008. The most interesting aspect of this graph is the data changes that have occurred since the previous months data. If you’re interested check out a previous post titled ‘Abbott’s Promise’ which utilised the same datasets from October 2012.

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Figure 1: Australian Employment gains & losses by month. Data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Although our story is much better than other OECD nations, I have serious issues with the one dimensional story put forward by the government. Here are two graphics which detail some of my concerns around the simplistic story of labour statistics as told by the mainstream media.

My first concern was raised in my recent ‘Abbott’s Promise’ blog which discussed the almost doubling of the Australian working population since 1971 (increasing from 8.48-million to last year’s 15.64-million). For the record and given that we are increasing our working population cohort from 2018 to include 66 and 67-year olds my numbers would be larger than others (but I reflect the real world, not the absolute one of some of my colleagues).

In that blog I utilised a 40-year average of increased working age population, which came out at 178,993. I did this with the desire to project a more realistic figure of a declining working age population over the next 40-years.

Minister Shorten has expressed his employment increases since the commencement of the current Labor government in both an actual (843,900) and a daily average (460) so the next graph represents a look at the working population increase since July 2007 with an actual of 1,201,100 which averages out at a an increase of 240,220 per year or a required increase in job creation requirement of 658 per day. On those figures the current government should have a shortfall of 357,200 or 198 per day!

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Figure 2: Australian Working Population 2007-2012. Data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

As put by Greg Jericho in his very excellent monthly labour force blog every wonks favourite statistic is the employment to population ratio as compared to the current participation rate of 65.1%.

The ABS puts this number at 61.7% which would correlate to an Australian population of 18.713-million!

Utilising the Census data from 2006 and 2011 and the current ABS estimated population the true figure of Employment to Population is actually 50.6%. Here is a look at Employment to Population numbers since August 2006.

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Figure 3: Australian Employment to Population ratio. Data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

When I started out today I was as surprised as everyone at the stronger than expected labour numbers. At the time I tweeted that the “Participation Rate hides all of our sins”.

At the end of the day I have significant concerns over more than just the participation rate.