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Slowdown in mining sector affects jobs in PNG

 PAPUA New Guinea’s total employment has fallen sharply over the past year due largely to the slowdown in mining sector activity and a weaker exchange rate.
Bank of Papua New Guinea’s (BPNG) employment index showed that total level of employment in the non-mining sector only increased by 1.9% in the June quarter.
This depicts a period of re-alignment in the economy after the absorptive impact of the completed LNG construction phase. It is observed that while some spare capacity has been released from the LNG project it could take a while for these resources to be absorbed in the domestic economy.
On a quarterly basis, employment growth in the mining sector declined by 8.1% in the June quarter compared to a decline of 6.6% in the March quarter.
BPNG’s reports, the decline was associated with the restructuring done by the OK Tedi and Tolukuma mines, and the termination of a number of workers by a mining company in Morobe following an industrial dispute earlier in the year.
Through the year to June the mining sector declined by 22.7% reflecting the deep re-adjustments that mines have to make to address the difficult operating environment faced over the past year.
On the other hand, employment in the non-mining sector increased by 1.9 % in June compared to a decline of 0.2 % in the March quarter.
This growth was largely due to increased employment in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries (4.5%), retail (2.1%), and the manufacturing sector (1.4%).
Partially offsetting this growth were the declines in employment in the wholesale and transportation sectors which decreased by 4% and 3.6%respectively.
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