NEWS RELEASE: Mining industry hiring requirements to peak in 2011 according to national report released by the Mining HR Council

MiHR is the HR knowledge and research centre for Canada’s minerals and metals industry.

To read the report please click this link: Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2011


OTTAWA (September 6, 2011) – Human resources challenges continue to threaten the future competitiveness of the Canadian mining industry. A combination of factors including the pending retirement of the baby boom generation, difficulties in attracting and engaging youth and an under-representation of diverse groups paints a challenging ten-year talent forecast. While the industry has taken tremendous strides in addressing these issues, finding experienced and skilled workers is becoming more difficult, and competition across sectors of the economy is increasing, according to a new report released by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR).

The Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2011 report, an annual publication, includes adjustments to the MiHR forecasting model, namely updates to the economic variables and the Commodity Price Index. The general improvement in the outlook for the global economy and for commodities has led to hiring projections in the 2011 report which have increased from the already substantial numbers of the 2010 report.

Key findings:

In the new outlook, employment in the Canadian mining industry is expected to continue to decline over the forecast period, fuelled by continuous gains in labour productivity. However, due to an improved outlook for commodity prices, the decline in employment has improved over previous years forecasts. “The key element that has not changed in the ten-year outlook is that the workforce continues to age and half of the mining workforce are eligible to retire by 2021, shown by cumulative hiring requirements of 75,280, 112,020 and 141,540 under contractionary, baseline and expansionary economic scenarios, respectively” highlights Dr Martha Roberts, Director of Research at MiHR.

Under-represented talent groups


Currently, the mining industry lags the labour force as a whole in employing women and new Canadians. According to  Ramp-up – A Study on the Status of Women in Canada’s Mining and Exploration Sector (published February 2010) the participation of women in mining was just 14 per cent in 2006 (compared to 47 per cent for the entire economy).

New Canadians

The mining industry also under performs compared to the overall economy when it comes to the employment of new Canadians. While immigrants accounted for nearly 21 per cent of the Canadian labour force, Statistics Canada’s 2006 Census shows they accounted for only 8.7 per cent of the mining workforce.

Aboriginal peoples

When it comes to employing Aboriginal peoples, the mining industry outperforms the rest of the economy, with seven per cent of the mining workforce self-identifying as being of Aboriginal descent, nearly double the rate for the overall labour force. As one of the fastest- growing segments of the Canadian population—and with Aboriginal communities close to many mine sites and operations—they are a large potential pool of workers for the mining industry.

However, the overall change in the Canadian labour market means that increasing the participation of women, new Canadians, youth and Aboriginal peoples in the mining workforce will only partially offset the impact of the aging workforce. In the medium-term, the need to replace older workers will outstrip the availability of younger talent in the labour pool.

Forecasts by occupation

Among the different broad occupational categories, the hiring requirements will be greatest for the Trades and Undesignated Occupations at 35,625, which represents nearly 32 per cent of the industry overall hiring requirements by 2021.

Regional projections

The Prairies region (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta) is forecast to be one of just two regions that will experience employment growth over the forecast period. This region is also the only one projected to experience positive employment growth in every year of the forecast – an average annual rate of about 1.0 per cent. By 2021, mining employment in the Prairies region is forecast to be 11 per cent higher than in 2011.

The strong rebound in commodity prices after the global recession is driving the significant hiring requirements in the Prairies that will occur early in the forecast period. The 20,340 workers expected to be needed by 2013 represent nearly 35 per cent of the hiring requirements for the region over the entire 10-year forecast period. By 2021, the Prairies are forecast to have the greatest hiring requirements in Canada.

Most of the hiring in the Territories will occur early in the forecast period—between 2011 and 2014. While mining employment will see small declines between 2015 and the end of the forecast period, these declines are not expected to offset the near-term growth. When replacement requirements are factored in, the Territories region faces considerable hiring requirements (more than 80 per cent of the current workforce) over the forecast period.
Future developments

The model used for the forecasts in MiHR’s outlook reports continues to evolve. One of the major additions in 2012 reporting will be the incorporation of a talent-availability (or labour supply) forecast. “When combined with MiHR’s existing hiring-requirements forecast, this will provide a more complete picture of the mining labour market and allow MiHR to undertake analysis of the gaps in the mining industry’s labour market and highlight the various approaches that may be taken to address the gaps” concludes Dr Roberts.

Custom labour market research

As the go-to resource and a primary research hub for Canada’s mining industry, the MiHR Council, provides a breadth of extensive research and analysis in response to the needs of its stakeholders and is expanding the scope of its initiatives to offer more custom labour market research. The Council’s previous custom research publications have included provincial reports for British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario in 2008 and 2009 and, most recently, Saskatchewan Mining Industry Hiring Requirements and Talent Availability Forecasts 2011. This report was published in partnership with the Saskatchewan Mining Association.   

Notes to Editors

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program
About the Mining Industry Workforce Information Network (MIWIN)

MIWIN was launched in 2007 by the MiHR Council under its Research for Industry Sustainability priority. Its aim is to provide accurate and timely labour-market information to the mining industry and its stakeholders. This entails forecasting future hiring requirements in the sector, by occupation and region, based on a number of factors including productivity, turnover, retirement rates and fluctuations in commodity prices — the largest driver of employment in the sector.  In addition to Mining HR Forecasts and the Canadian Mining Industry Employment and Hiring Forecasts 2010 report, provincial forecasts have also been produced under MIWIN for the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

About the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR)

MiHR is the HR knowledge and research centre for Canada’s minerals and metals industry. MiHR contributes to the strength, competiveness and sustainability of the Canadian mining industry by collaborating with all communities of interest in the development and implementation of solutions to the industry’s national HR challenges. For more information, visit

For more information contact:

Alana Kennedy
Director of Marketing & Communications, MiHR
(613) 270-9696 x 41

Lindsay Forcellini
Marketing & Communications Coordinator, MiHR
(613) 270-9696 x 58