Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts

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1 Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2010 A Mining Industry Workforce Information Network Report

2 This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada s Sector Council Program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada. Copyright 2010 Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication, whether it is reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by means (including electronic, mechanical, photographic, photocopying or recording), without the prior written permission of MiHR is an infringement of copyright law. For more information, contact: Mining Industry Human Resources Council 260 Hearst Way, Suite 401 Kanata, Ontario K2L 3H1 Tel: Fax: Or visit the website at: Published July 2010

3 Table of Contents Executive Summary... 1 Industry Context... 2 The Model for Forecasting Employment and Hiring Requirements... 2 National Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements... 2 Regional Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements... 3 Occupational Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements... 5 Addressing the Challenge Introduction... 7 Background... 8 Overview of the Report Overview of the Canadian Mining Workforce... 9 Definition and Economic Overview of the Canadian Mining Industry... 9 Industry Definition and Scope... 9 Economic Overview Mining Labour Market Trends Employment Labour Productivity Educational Attainment Employment Relations Turnover Compensation, Wages and Hours Worked Unionization Use of Contractors An Aging Workforce Retirement Employment and Hiring Forecasts i

4 Workforce Participation Rates and Diversity Women in Mining Aboriginal Participation in Mining New Canadians in Mining Summary Forecasted Hiring Requirements in the Canadian Mining Industry Development of the Model Assumptions National Hiring Requirements Forecasts Forecasts by Occupation Regional Hiring Requirements Forecasts Atlantic Region Quebec Ontario Prairie Region British Columbia Territories Discussion Making the Best Use of All Possible Sources of Talent Increasing Productivity Appendix A Appendix B ii Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

5 List of Tables and Figures Table 1 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Canada... 3 Table 2 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts By Region... 4 Table 3 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts By Broad Occupational Categories... 5 Table 4 Canada s Top 10 Minerals by Value of Production, Table 5 Proportion of Mining Workforce of Aboriginal Descent Table 6 Key Forecast Assumptions Table 7 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Canada Table 8 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Canada Table 9 Cumulative Hiring Requirements By Broad Occupational Categories and Relevant Mining Occupations Table 10 Total Mining Employment by Region Table 11 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Atlantic Region Table 12 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in Atlantic Region Table 13 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Quebec Table 14 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in Quebec Table 15 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Ontario Table 16 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in Ontario Table 17 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Prairie Region Table 18 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in Prairie Region Table 19 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts British Columbia Table 20 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in British Columbia Table 21 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts Territories Table 22 Cumulative Hiring Requirements of Top 10 Occupations in the Territories Employment and Hiring Forecasts iii

6 Figure 1 Value of Canadian Mineral Production, Figure 2 Mining Employment and the Minerals Price Index (MPI) Figure 3 Labour Productivity and Employment Figure 4 Labour Productivity in Canada s North Figure 5 Proportion of Mining Workforce by Highest Level of Educational Attainment Figure 6 Hourly Total Compensation Rates by Region Figure 7 Average Benchmark Hourly Wages for Select Job Titles in Mining, by Commodity Produced Figure 8 Weekly Hours Worked in Mining, Canada and Regions, Figure 9 Unionization Rates: Forestry, Fishing, Mining, and Oil and Gas, 1997 to Figure 10 Age Group Distribution in Canadian Mining Industry in Figure 11 Proportion of Mining Workforce Eligible to Retire Figure 12 Proportion of Women in Natural Resource Industries Figure 13 Proportion of Women in Select Mining Occupations Figure 14 Aboriginal Communities and Active Mining and Exploration Sites Figure 15 Annual Hiring Requirements Forecasts Canada Figure 16 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Atlantic Region Figure 17 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Quebec Figure 18 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Ontario Figure 19 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Prairie Region Figure 20 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts British Columbia Figure 21 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Territories Figure A1 Employment and Hiring Requirements Forecasting Model Acknowledgements The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) wishes to convey its appreciation to the organizations that contributed their knowledge and insights to the development of this report. MiHR is grateful to all survey respondents for their valuable input and time in filling out the survey. We thank you, our Board of Directors, industry stakeholders and the Government of Canada for your continued guidance and commitment in addressing the mining HR challenge. iv Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

7 Executive Summary The Canadian mining industry is highly competitive on the world stage and has the potential to remain successful well into the future. Nations in rapid development phases, such as China and India, will continue to need the raw resources that Canadian mining companies provide. This potential, however, is threatened by looming labour shortages and other human resources issues facing the sector. Several labour market trends are impacting the availability and quality of labour in mining; most notably the aging workforce, productivity, and challenges in attracting new talent to the sector. A two-faceted approach will have the greatest impact in addressing existing and expected human resources shortages: (i) making the best use of all available sources of labour and (ii) increasing productivity. To fill the talent gap, continued efforts to attract and retain youth, women, new Canadians and Aboriginal peoples will provide access to previously untapped sources of talent. In addition, the need to replace retiring workers, combined with a depleted labour pool from which to draw, will increasingly force the industry to rely on improved productivity to maintain economic performance. Productivity increases, in turn, will have to come through investments in training and education, as well as through innovation and technological advances. This report provides the foundation for a structured and strategic approach to workforce development. The report is divided into two main sections. The first provides an economic overview and examines the labour market trends affecting the industry. The second presents the forecasted changes in employment and hiring requirements at the national, regional and occupational level over a two-, five-, and 10-year horizon. Finally, observations about the forecasts and labour market trends provide insight into proactive ways to address the human resources challenges confronting the industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 1

8 Industry Context Compared with other sectors, employment in mining is highly volatile. Changes in total employment are directly related to international commodity prices and inversely related to gains in productivity. When coupled with a rapidly aging workforce and lack of growth in the Canadian labour force, the outlook is grim. The sector will face significant challenges in the near future in finding the right people to fill vacant positions. The Model for Forecasting Employment and Hiring Requirements Model development is an ongoing, iterative process. The current version of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council s (MiHR) forecasting model used here represents a culmination of rigorous model development over the past five years. Detailed discussion of the model and its underlying assumptions are included in Chapter 3 and Appendix A. The forecasting model combines changes in employment due to economic factors and replacement requirements to obtain total hiring requirements. Changes in employment reflect fluctuations in commodity prices (based on prevalent consensus forecasts), gains in productivity, and the previous year s employment. Replacement requirements are based on retirement rates (calculated based on the age distribution of the workforce and assuming an average retirement age of 59.5 years) and non-retirement separation rates. Three scenarios were developed to forecast national, regional and occupational hiring requirements over a 10-year time horizon. The baseline scenario uses a consensus forecast for the fluctuation of commodity prices and productivity changes. The expansionary scenario assumes greater-than-expected growth in commodity prices and productivity, while the contractionary scenario assumes lower-than-expected growth. National Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements Forecasts for Canada are produced by summing the changes in employment and hiring requirement across the six regions in consideration. Under the baseline scenario, the Canadian mining industry will have to hire 100,000 new workers by the end of 2020 to satisfy replacement needs and to fill new positions. If commodity prices perform better than expected (the expansionary scenario), the cumulative hiring requirements could reach nearly 135,000 workers. Even under the contractionary scenario, the industry would still need to hire approximately 56,000 workers over the coming decade. Table 1 shows the cumulative change in employment and hiring requirements under the baseline scenario in 2010, 2012, 2015 and As shown, replacement requirement exceeds the change in employment attributable to commodity prices and labour productivity gains to create positive cumulative hiring requirements in the short-, medium- and long-term. 2 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

9 Table 1 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts Canada Baseline Scenario 2010, 2012, 2015, 2020 REGION YEAR CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT REPLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS RETIREMENT NON-RETIREMENT CUMULATIVE HIRING REQUIREMENTS Canada ,000 3,710 3,980 6, ,400 13,580 12,100 29, ,500 32,600 24,050 53, ,600 65,290 43,300 99,990 Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Summer For Canada as a whole, cumulative hiring requirements represent nearly 50 per cent of the 2009 employment level, with hiring needs predicted to increase at a pace of two to five per cent annually across the forecast period. Regional Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements Employment and hiring requirement forecasts were conducted for six regions: Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia Territories Comparisons of hiring requirements between regions should be approached with caution, particularly given that the various factors influencing the forecast model differ from region to region. In addition, major differences exist in employment and hiring requirements across regions, based on workforce age profiles and on forecasts of commodity prices and labour productivity. For these reasons, separate forecasts are produced for each region, with the main drivers of the hiring requirements discussed in each corresponding section of the report. As shown in Table 2, cumulative hiring requirements vary significantly among regions. This is partly due to the size of the existing mining workforce in each region but is also driven by regional variations in age composition. Indeed, efforts in hiring are heavily dependent not only on regional context but on a wide range of factors. Employment growth differs among regions. In most cases, the hiring requirements are driven by replacement needs. However, in the Prairies, total employment is predicted to grow over the forecast period. As a result, cumulative hiring requirements for this region are a result of both growth and replacement requirements Employment and Hiring Forecasts 3

10 Table 2 Total Hiring Requirements Forecasts By Region Baseline Scenario 2010, 2012, 2015, 2020 REGION YEAR CHANGE IN EMPLOYMENT REPLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS RETIREMENT NON-RETIREMENT CUMULATIVE HIRING REQUIREMENTS Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia Territories , ,350 1,750 1,220 1, ,750 3,230 2,070 2, , , ,640 3,180 2,320 2, ,650 7,520 4,510 5, ,060 14,650 7,890 14, , ,790 3,490 2,580 4, ,920 8,430 4,950 8, ,600 16,820 8,650 17, ,650 1,130 1,650 5, ,210 4,190 5,110 16, ,410 10,540 10,460 30, ,570 22,190 19,470 52, , ,720 1,240 3, ,810 2,440 5, ,470 7,300 4,340 10, , , , ,650 Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Summer The pace of growth in hiring needs also differs among regions. In both the Prairies and the Territories, the bulk of hiring requirements will occur earlier in the forecast period than in the rest of Canada. However, hiring requirements in the Territories will involve fewer workers, with total requirements of 2,650 people. This is largely because the share of the mining workforce employed in the Territories is relatively small. The Prairie region is expected to have the largest hiring requirement in Canada: 52,250 workers by Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

11 Occupational Forecasts of Employment and Hiring Requirements This report also estimates hiring requirements by occupation, both nationally and by region. In all regions, the greatest hiring requirements will occur in Trades and Undesignated Occupations, where approximately 31,980 workers will be needed across Canada. This represents almost a third of the total hiring requirement by As shown in Table 3, the other broad occupational categories expected to be in high demand are Supervisors, Coordinators and Foremen; Professional and Physical Science Occupations; and Technical Occupations. In terms of specific occupations, hiring requirements are projected to be highest for heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, and underground production and development miners. Table 3 Cumulative Hiring Requirements Forecasts By Broad Occupational Categories Baseline Scenario 2012, 2015, Trades and Undesignated Occupations 9,165 16,660 31,979 Supervisors, Coordinators and Foremen 1,798 3,281 6,258 Professional and Physical Science Occupations 1,094 1,989 3,810 Technical Occupations 909 1,657 3,204 Support Workers 835 1,509 2,777 Managers and/or Financial Occupations 623 1,136 2,127 Total 14,424 26,233 50,155 Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council, Summer Note: Total hiring requirements by occupation will not add to the total hiring requirement projected for Canada. This is because of data limitations in defining occupations for the sector as discussed in Chapter 3. Addressing the Challenge The hiring forecasts presented in this report highlight the importance of the significant investment the industry continues to make to attract and retain top talent. Human resources challenges will be the major constraint to economic growth in Canada s mining sector. Despite the increasing participation of new Canadians, Aboriginal peoples, women and older workers in the mining workforce, demand for workers will be harder and harder to meet partially due to an aging workforce and partially due to fewer workers being available in the labour force. Economic performance, therefore, will increasingly have to rely on improved productivity. Clearly, in light of the forecast results presented here, a proactive and strategic approach will assist industry employers in planning for future workforce needs. Broadly speaking, MiHR recommends a two-pronged approach. First, employers can continue their efforts to make the most of all available sources of talent. There are many strategies for this approach, including creating a culture of inclusion in the workforce, and increasing the representation of women, new Canadians and Aboriginal peoples. Second, the industry can increase productivity through investments in workforce training and development, combined with emphasis on innovation and support for technology advances Employment and Hiring Forecasts 5

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13 1 Introduction Canada s mining industry is world-class, with the value of mineral production in Canada leading the globe. The industry accounts for 3.5 per cent of GDP, $9.7 billion in capital spending and over $95 billion in exports. Canada is the top producer of uranium and potash and among the top five producers of nickel, aluminum, zinc and molybdenum. 1 Demands from nations experiencing rapid growth and development, such as India and China, ensure a positive economic outlook for the industry. For example, the rapid pace of growth in China translates into high demand for base metals, potash, uranium and precious metals, for decades to come. However, the Canadian mining industry faces many challenges, despite its world-class status. Human resources challenges pose a serious threat to Canada s future mining competitiveness and arguably, these challenges are the greatest constraint to continuous growth in the industry. The Mining Association of Canada recently listed human resources among the top six key issues facing the industry, along with policy and regulatory issues, environmental impacts, declining reserves and corporate social responsibility. 2 The challenges stem from an aging population and workforce, a poor image of mining among youth, and working conditions and cultures that have traditionally discouraged participation of diverse groups such as women and new Canadians. Despite remarkable efforts to increase participation of previously under-represented groups in the industry s workforce, it is becoming more difficult for employers to find the highly skilled and experienced workers they need. This is already a primary concern in some segments of the sector and the challenge will increase as more experienced workers retire. This report provides the foundation for developing new approaches to address human resources challenges and supporting continued efforts to (i) make the best use of all available sources of labour and (ii) increase productivity. Current context and workforce demographics, including benchmarks on participation rates, diversity, turnover and retirement demands appear in Chapter 2. Regional and national forecasts of hiring requirements for the industry as a whole and by occupational groups are presented in Chapter 3. The information contained in this report can be used by all industry stakeholders, including employers, educators, and governments. 1 The Mining Association of Canada, The Canadian Mining Industry: Overview, Issues and the Way Forward, April ibid. (Indicates same as the source above. ) 2010 Employment and Hiring Forecasts 7

14 Background A main strategic objective of the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) is to increase industry stakeholders ability to understand, anticipate and plan for labour supply and demand requirements. MiHR does this by providing high-quality labour market information; regional and occupational hiring forecasts; and human resources management based research. As part of this commitment, the Mining Industry Workforce Information Network (MIWIN) the source of the most extensive research and analysis available on Canada s mining labour market provides regular forecasts of hiring needs for the Canadian mining industry. One of MIWIN s key activities is to produce model-based forecasts of changes in employment and hiring requirements. The purpose of the study reported here is to forecast changes in employment and hiring requirements over two, five and 10 years, with particular emphasis on national, regional and occupational demands. This report expands on previous research and forecasts (conducted in 2008 and 2009) that examined the dynamics of the mining labour markets in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. The forecasts presented in this report analyze three different economic scenarios: contractionary, baseline and expansionary. Each scenario generates a projection of changes in employment and hiring requirements from 2010 to This report also presents results from MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey, which complements the model-based forecasts and provides key demographics from a representative sample of mining industry employers. To date, the supply side of the labour market and speculations on the gap between labour supply and demand, are not explicitly considered in MiHR forecasts. However, MiHR has begun research to investigate labour supply in the mining industry. Such ongoing improvements are an integral part of the MIWIN program, and labour supply will be included in future forecast reports. Overview of the Report This report is organized into two main sections. It begins with an overview of Canada s mining industry followed by national and regional forecasts of changes in employment and hiring requirements over a two-, five- and 10-year horizon. The forecasts also include estimates of hiring needs for key occupational groups. Chapter 2 begins with a definition and scope of the mining industry, which is used in the subsequent labour market analyses and forecasts. The definition is followed by discussion of labour market trends in terms of employment, turnover, productivity, educational attainment, the aging workforce, and diversity. Results from MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey, along with other industry research, illustrate the trends throughout the section. The report also discusses issues related to a tight labour market and making the best use of all possible sources of labour. This section sets the stage and describes the context for the forecasts that follow. Chapter 3 begins with a brief review of the key assumptions adopted to produce forecasts of total employment and hiring requirements under contractionary, baseline and expansionary scenarios. The review is followed with forecasts of hiring requirements both on a national and regional basis, as well as occupational breakdowns. Appendix A provides details on forecast methodology. The report concludes with a high-level discussion of the findings (Chapter 4) and offers some suggestions for future directions in meeting the industry s workforce needs. MiHR s recommended approach to addressing current and existing human resources challenges in the industry is used as a framework for the discussion. 8 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

15 2 Overview of the Canadian Mining Workforce The Canadian mining industry faces several labour-market challenges. Despite impressive increases in the participation of under-represented groups, employers are still faced with an aging workforce and a looming labour shortage. To proactively address these challenges and meet future hiring requirements, the industry must first maximize and make the best use of all available sources of labour, and second, increase its productivity through investments in training and skills development, coupled with improving the foundation for innovation and technological advances. A first step in developing these strategies is to review the current context and demographic profile of the industry s workforce. This chapter begins with a brief definition and overview of economic conditions in Canada s mining industry. The chapter then explores various labour market trends that impact on the quantity and quality of labour, including employment, turnover, productivity, educational attainment, compensation, labour relations, retirement projections and diversity. Findings from MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey are also presented throughout, along with other industry research that illustrates the issues discussed. Definition and Economic Overview of the Canadian Mining Industry Industry Definition and Scope Statistics Canada, the main source of Canada s labour market information, uses two different coding systems to classify data: the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S). Both systems provide a hierarchical structure that divides higher-level categories into more detailed categories in order to group similar establishments and individuals. NAICS 3 codes are used by statistical agencies throughout North America to describe economic and business activity at the industry level. This system features a production-oriented framework where assignment to a specific industry is based on primary activity, enabling groupings of establishments with similar activities. 3 The definitions for the North American Industrial Classification System (2007) are taken from: Employment and Hiring Forecasts 9

16 The NOC-S system 4 was developed by Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada to provide standardized descriptions of the work that Canadians perform in the labour market. NOC-S codes organize labour-force participants according to the nature of work they perform, thereby enabling similar occupations to be grouped. NOC-S codes are specific to Canada. Together, the NAICS and NOC-S systems provide a means for grouping statistics to obtain estimates of employment and workforce demographics using Statistics Canada data sources. There is no single NAICS code, however, that directly corresponds to all phases of the mining cycle (which includes exploration, development, extraction, processing and reclamation). Similarly, there is no single set of NOC-S categories that pertain to only mining. People employed in occupation groups that are prevalent in mining also work in a variety of other industries. A complete list of the NOC-S codes used to define the occupations in mining appears in Appendix B. To provide the best possible estimate of the industry, MiHR has defined the sector according to the following NAICS codes, thereby providing the best correspondence between the industry s main primary and processing activities as defined by Natural Resources Canada. 5 The NAICS codes that define the mining industry include: NAICS 212: Mining and Quarrying (except Oil and Gas). This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in mining, beneficiating or otherwise preparing metallic and non-metallic minerals, including coal. NAICS 213: Support Activities for Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction. This subsector comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing support services, on a contract or fee basis, required for the mining and quarrying of minerals and for the extraction of oil and gas. Establishments engaged in the exploration for minerals, other than oil or gas, are included. 6 NAICS 3311: Iron and Steel Mills and Ferro-Alloy Manufacturing. This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in smelting iron ore and steel scrap to produce pig iron in molten or solid form. NAICS 3313: Alumina and Aluminum Production and Processing. This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in extracting alumina. NAICS 3314: Non-Ferrous Metal (except Aluminum) Production and Processing. This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in smelting, refining, rolling, drawing, extruding and alloying non-ferrous metal (except aluminum). Economic Overview The mining industry experienced strong economic growth for almost a decade leading up to the sharp decline in the fall of However, rebound from the recession is already underway in the sector, largely due to the impacts of non-metal commodities and demand for resources from BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations. 4 The definitions for the NOC-S (2006) system can be found at: 5 Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Minerals Yearbook, Note that MiHR s definition of the mining industry does not include oil and gas extraction or the activities related to oil sands extraction. However, data included in NAICS 213 is not available for the mining industry in isolation and does include some support services activities for oil and gas and the oil sands. 10 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

17 The value of mineral production in Canada continues to lead the world with a total value of $45.3 billion in 2008 (see Figure 1). Recent declines in metal prices were largely offset by strong non-metal prices, most notably potash. In addition, Canada now ranks third internationally in terms of diamond production, accounting for about 13 per cent of world production. 7 Furthermore, in 2008, a rise in the contract price of coal led to a significant increase in the value of coal production. Figure 1 Value of Canadian Mineral Production, * Metals Non-Metals Coal $ Billions * Total: Source: Mining Association of Canada, Facts and Figures, *Data reported for 2008 are preliminary estimates. Facts and Figures, 2010 was not available at the time of publication. Controlling for price effects, increases in real mining gross domestic product (GDP) have expanded at an historical average rate of 2.3 per cent. Over the past 25 years, the mining industry contribution to Canada s GDP has remained relatively stable at an average of 2 per cent over the entire period. Today, mining accounts for 3.5 per cent of Canada s GDP. Canada s top 10 minerals by value of production are shown in Table 4. Of these, Canada is the world leader in the production of potash and uranium, and ranks second in nickel production. Historically, the top three mineral-producing provinces in Canada have been Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. More recently, however, Saskatchewan has taken over the top position, due to strong potash prices in Mining Labour Market Trends According to Statistics Canada s recent population projections, within the next 10 years Canada will have more people at the age where they can leave the labour force than at the age where they can begin working. 8 In fact, exits of older workers from the labour force will start to accelerate in 2011, as the first waves of the Baby Boom generation begin reaching retirement age. 7 Mining Association of Canada, Facts and Figures 2009, A Report on the State of the Mining Industry. 8 Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey Employment and Hiring Forecasts 11

18 Table 4 Canada s Top 10 Minerals by Value of Production, 2008* UNIT QUANTITY (MILLIONS) $ VALUE (MILLIONS) Potash t 11 8,243 Nickel kg 251 5,856 Copper kg 581 4,438 Coal t 68 4,292 Gold g 95 2,824 Iron Ore t 31 2,427 Diamonds ct 15 2,404 Sulphur t 8 2,389 Cement t 14 1,792 Uranium kg 9 1,488 Source: Mining Association of Canada, Facts and Figures, 2009 * Data reported for 2008 are preliminary estimates. The aging labour force presents considerable challenges for Canadian employers, and the mining industry is no exception. To ensure that the necessary workers are available in the short- and long-term, mining employers are striving to attract groups that have been traditionally under-represented in the mining workforce, and to make the most of all available talent in the general labour force. These groups include new Canadians, Aboriginal peoples, youth and women. However, increasing the participation of under-represented groups will only partially manage the impacts of the aging workforce. Within a few years, the need to replace older workers will quickly surpass the availability of younger talent in the labour pool. Consequently, maintaining economic performance will also rely on improved productivity. This section provides an overview of mining employment, productivity, educational attainment, and key aspects of employment relations. Issues pertaining to the aging workforce and diversity are of primary importance to the long-term success of the sector and are each discussed in their own sections. Employment Employment in mining is more volatile than in most other Canadian industries, making long-term workforce planning a particular challenge in the sector. Mining sector employment has been on a slight downward trend for the past few decades. Employment was just over 200,000 workers in both 2007 and 2008 slightly lower than the peak of 210,000 workers in MiHR s recent research has demonstrated a strong positive correlation between employment and movements in commodity prices, as measured against the Minerals Price Index (MPI). The relationship is shown in Figure 2 and is a fundamental assumption in MiHR s employment forecasting model. Forecasted movements in commodity prices are one of the key explanatory variables in the development of the forecasting models for hiring requirements discussed in Chapter 3. Please see Appendix A for more details. 12 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

19 Figure 2 Mining Employment and the Minerals Price Index (MPI) 220, ,000 Linear employment trend during 1984 to , , , , ,000 Employment increase corresponds to MPI gains , Employment Canada MPI 0 Sources: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada; Bank of Canada. Labour Productivity Labour productivity is a complex concept that is influenced by many factors. On the whole, productivity tends to accelerate during periods of economic expansion and slow during a recession. In terms of employment, higher levels of productivity tend to be associated with contractions in employment needs. Declines in productivity tend to occur in a tight labour market. One explanation for this is that as talent becomes scarce, employers may begin to hire workers who have less experience and fewer skills, or are not quite ready to enter the workforce. Figure 3 shows that labour productivity in the Canadian mining industry (measured as real GDP per hour worked) steadily increased over the 1984 to 2005 period, at an average rate of 2.9 per cent 9 annually. Since 2006, however, productivity has declined by approximately four per cent per year. A study released in September 2009 by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) suggested that this decline was not necessarily related to changes in worker skills or technology and innovation; 10 rather, it may have been a direct result of higher commodity prices, which, in turn, made exploitation of marginal resource deposits profitable. Diamond mining expansion in the Territories has had a positive impact on overall productivity in the sector, as shown in Figure 4. Since the opening of the Ekati mine in the fall of 1998, labour productivity has increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 22 per cent. During this period, the Territories share of mining GDP has also increased rapidly: from 0.5 per cent in 1998 to over four per cent in This is considered to be a reasonable estimate of trends in labour productivity for the sector. It is based on more than 20 years of data, covering several business cycles. 10 Centre for the Study of Livings Standards, A Detailed Analysis of the Productivity Performance of Mining in Canada, September Employment and Hiring Forecasts 13

20 Figure 3 Labour Productivity and Employment Employment (000s) Productivity reductions correspond with significant employment gains GDP per Hour Worked (Thousands of 2002 $) Employment Productivity 30.0 Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada. Regional differences in productivity such as this are captured in the employment forecasts presented in Chapter 4. The forecasts of changes in employment presented in this report are based on the combined forces of commodity prices and forecasted trends in labour productivity. This issue is discussed in more detail in Appendix A. Figure 4 Labour Productivity in Canada s North 250 GDP per Hour Worked (Thousands of 2002 $) Opening of Ekati Mine Opening of Diavik Mine Territories Rest of Canada Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada. 14 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

21 Educational Attainment The demand for more and better skills in the mining industry has increased, in part, in response to technological advances. However, when compared with the Canadian labour force in general, the 2006 Census data indicates that the mining workforce has mixed levels of educational attainment. As shown in Figure 5, a lower proportion of mining workers have a university level education (11 per cent compared with 22 per cent for the Canadian labour force). That said, in the mining occupations where a university education is likely required (e.g., engineering, geosciences and management positions), a higher proportion of the workforce has university degrees than in other industries. A source of skilled labour in the industry is apprenticeship programs. In most provinces, registered apprenticeship combines practical on-the-job training with in-school technical training. Depending on the trade or occupation, programs vary in duration from two to five years. At 21 per cent, the proportion of workers with an apprenticeship or trades certificate is significantly higher in the mining industry than it is for the Canadian labour force as a whole (at 12 per cent). This suggests that apprenticeship and trades training are key elements of workforce development in the sector, but there may be barriers to inclusion of Figure 5 Proportion of Mining Workforce by Highest Level of Educational Attainment 30% 25% Mining Industry Canadian Labour Force 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% No certificate, diploma or degree High school graduation certificate or equivalent Apprenticeship or trades certificate or diploma College, CEGEP, or other non-university certificate or diploma University certificate or diploma below the bachelor level University certificate, diploma or degree Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada, 2006 Census Employment and Hiring Forecasts 15

22 under-represented groups. As noted earlier, specific training programs that address barriers to the entry of underrepresented population groups such as new Canadians, Aboriginal peoples and women are a priority for industry employers. In addition, investments in foreign credential recognition programs may help to remove barriers for recent immigrants. Employment Relations The relationship between the workforce and their employers is an important element in attracting and retaining talent. This section presents overviews of four main factors affecting employment relationships in mining, including turnover, wages and hours, unionization, and use of contractors. Turnover Tight labour market conditions and widespread labour shortages have historically been associated with higher employee turnover rates. As talent becomes scarce, competing employers or industries make more attractive offers and the best and brightest tend to become more mobile. Turnover in an organization does not translate directly to industry turnover, because workers leaving a particular employer do not necessarily leave the sector. Competition for talent between industry sectors in a tight labour market can create pressures on the sector to retain talent and lead to a base-level industry turnover rate. MiHR s employment forecast model assumes a base-level industry turnover rate not related to retirement, of about two per cent per year, which is often lower than average employer- or region-specific turnover rates. According to MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey, the average overall turnover rate for employers is approximately 5.6 per cent. Trades and Undesignated Occupations had higher overall turnover rates than other occupations, with an average of 8.3 per cent, and in some cases, as high as 25 per cent. The voluntary and overall turnover rates reported by survey respondents are indicative of a tightening labour market and do not include lay-offs and call-backs resulting from the recent economic recession. These rates provide an indication of the churn felt by employers, over and above the base-level industry turnover rates used in the forecasting model. The greatest level of churn is felt in Trades and Undesignated Occupations, as well as in Support Workers occupations. Voluntary turnover 11 among these groups was identified as a primary concern for employers. More than 75 per cent of respondents reported that voluntary turnover of workers in Trades and Undesignated Occupations has impeded productivity to a great extent over the past two years. In the same period, all survey respondents reported that voluntary turnover among support workers has impeded productivity to a significant degree. In addition, support services and exploration employers reported higher voluntary turnover rates in Professional and Management occupations than other mining employers. 11 Note that voluntary turnover rate is a measure of employee-initiated departures. This is not to be confused with the non-retirement departure rates used in MiHR s employment forecasting model. Non-retirement departures include all turnover not related to retirement and can include both voluntary and involuntary turnover. 16 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

23 Compensation, Wages and Hours Worked Compensation, wages and hours worked are indicators of labour force strength and labour-supply preferences. Sectors offering higher wages for fewer hours worked tend to be attractive employment options. Significant variations exist between regions with respect to total compensation. The data displayed in Figure 6 shows total compensation (wages and salaries, overtime, bonuses, and benefits) in mining as an hourly rate. Workers in the northern areas of Canada are compensated above the national average, perhaps for extreme conditions, and compensation in Atlantic Canada is approximately 80 per cent of the national average. Further, Statistics Canada s Labour Force Survey provides monthly and annual statistics on wages and hours worked. Over the past 25 years in Canada, nominal wage increases have averaged 3.5 per cent annually, while real wages increased an average of 0.9 per cent. In contrast, over this period, workers in the mining industry have seen their real wages rise by approximately 20 per cent. CostMine, in their annual report, Canadian Mine Salary Wages and Benefits, provide benchmark average hourly wages for selected job titles by region, commodity, and unionization. The benchmarks by commodity are displayed in Figure 7. Overall, Diamond and Industrial Mineral mining companies pay higher wages than Metal mining companies. This may be, in part, due to regional differences in compensation as discussed above. Fossil Fuel companies refer to those operating in the oil sands. In some cases these companies offer higher average wages than other mining companies (e.g., for surface labourers), but in other cases they do not (e.g., for dragline/shovel operators). At the same time that wages are rising, weekly hours worked per employee have also increased. Figure 8, which reports on weekly hours worked in 10-year increments, shows that these hours have risen, on average, by eight per cent over the past 20 years with the largest increases in the Territories at 11.5 per cent. This is perhaps due to the expansion of diamond mining and the industry s goal of minimizing labour transportation costs relative to hours worked. Figure 6 Hourly Total Compensation Rates by Region $60.00 $50.00 $40.00 Canadian Average for Mining $40.42 per hour $30.00 $20.00 $10.00 $0.00 Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia Territories Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada, Special Aggregations from Productivity Measures, Income and Expenditure Accounts Division, February Employment and Hiring Forecasts 17

24 Figure 7 Average Benchmark Hourly Wages for Select Job Titles in Mining, by Commodity Produced $40 Fossil Fuels Diamond/Industrial Mineral Metal $35 $30 $25 $20 Surface Labourer Underground Labourer Mill Equipment Operator Underground Equipment Operator Truck Driver Underground Driller Surface Driller Heavy Equipment Operator-Surface Dragline/Shovel Operator Mechanic Electrician Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; CostMine: Canadian Mine Salaries, Wages & Benefits, 2009 Survey Results. Figure 8 Weekly Hours Worked in Mining, Canada and Regions, Canada Atlantic Quebec Ontario Prairies British Columbia Territories Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada, Special Aggregations from Productivity Measures, Income and Expenditure Accounts Division, February Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

25 Unionization Unionization rates among labour force participants are a factor in wage and pension coverage and partly responsible for wage gaps in the labour force. 12 Changes in unionization rates have contributed to closing the wage gap for women (unionization rates between men and women have converged over the past few decades) and a widening of the gap for young men (unionization rates for younger workers have diverged from older workers over the decades). Unionization rates across Canada declined between 1984 and 2004, falling from 38 per cent to 31 per cent. Since that period, unionization rates in the labour force have remained steady at 31 per cent. 13 Decreasing rates of unionization have affected some groups in the labour force more than others. For example, the decline was twice as large among men younger than 45 years of age (with a drop of 15 per cent). Figure 9 shows that, in mining and related resource sectors, unionization rates have dropped over the past 25 years from 48 per cent in 1984 to 24 per cent in 2009, 14 with the largest declines occurring prior to These reductions may be partly due to the emergence of alternative opportunities for employee participation in decision making (e.g., joint labour-management initiatives) or changes in employment composition in the sector. 15 Figure 9 Unionization Rates: Forestry, Fishing, Mining, and Oil and Gas, 1997 to % 32% 30% 28% 26% 24% 22% 20% Source: Mining Industry Human Resources Council; Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey. 12 Statistics Canada, Perspectives on Labour and Income, 2005, Volume 6, Number Statistics Canada, 2009 Labour Force Historical Review. 14 ibid. 15 Statistics Canada, Perspectives on Labour and Income, 2005, Volume 6, Number Employment and Hiring Forecasts 19

26 Results from MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey showed that one third of respondents do not have any unionized employees. However, at most sites where organized labour is present, over half of the workers are union members. Of the employers with unionized employees, half reported that per cent of their workforce is unionized, and over a quarter reported that more than 75 per cent of their workforce is unionized. Use of Contractors As unionization rates fall in the mining industry, the use of contractors is on the rise. MiHR s employer survey showed that, on average, 13 per cent of respondents workforces are comprised of independent contractors. However, respondents also reported contracting out some activities more than others. For example, the majority of respondents contract out drilling and blasting, boring, and tunnelling activities. Education and training activities were also commonly contracted out, as were transportation, material-moving, and heavy equipment operators and mechanic activities. An Aging Workforce The two main factors behind Canada s aging population are the nation s low fertility rate and increasing life expectancy. In general, aging contributes to slower labour-force growth because participation rates for older age groups in the population are significantly lower than for younger groups. What is more, the Canadian labour force is aging in conjunction with the population demographics; there will be more older workers leaving the labour force over the next 10 years than younger workers available to replace them. According to a recent survey from the Conference Board of Canada, Canadian employers from a broad cross-section of regions and industry categories placed the aging workforce among their top priorities over the next five years. 16 The loss of experienced workers and corporate knowledge was a primary concern, as were gaps in management and leadership. Inexperienced, younger individuals without the depth of knowledge that comes from years of experience may get moved up the supervisory and management ladder before they are ready, which could be detrimental to the entire organization. Such acceleration also poses health and safety risks that are of concern to employers. 17 The mining industry clearly recognizes that mature workers play an essential role in transferring knowledge and skills to younger industry workers. Employers efforts to increase mature workers participation rates include: altering pension and retirement benefits to reward extra time on the job; enhancing working conditions (including hours and vacation allotments); and adding medical and other benefits to address the needs of the older workforce. Figure 10 shows that the largest age group in the mining industry is years old, representing almost 30 per cent of the workforce. This is significantly higher than the 25 per cent proportion for this age group across all industries in Canada. Respondents to MiHR s 2010 National Employer Survey indicated that, on average, more than half of their workers are aged 45 or older, with the highest average proportion aged 45 to 54 years. In most cases, around 25 per cent of the workers are less than 35 years of age, with less than five per cent aged The youngest reported average ages were for technical occupations (39 years), and professional and physical scientists (41.6 years). Supervisors and foremen had the oldest average ages at 48 years. 16 Harnessing the Power: Recruiting, Engaging, and Retaining Mature Workers, The Conference Board of Canada, October Many organizations have succession management programs in place to stream high-potential, younger workers for these roles. For more information, see the MiHR Mining for Diversity report and toolkit. 20 Mining Industry Workforce Information Network

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