NSW coal mining jobs hit record high with over 25,500 employed

Despite market challenges, New South Wales has seen a rise in coal mining employment, reaching unprecedented levels in March 2024 according to Coal Services Pty Ltd.

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The latest figures from Coal Services Pty Ltd reveal that the number of coal mining jobs has surged to 25,505, the highest recorded since the organization began tracking employment in 1998. This marks only the second instance where employment numbers have surpassed the 25,000 mark.

Stephen Galilee, the CEO of the NSW Minerals Council, said the figures reflect the ongoing importance of the coal sector to the state and its economic health.

“The record number of people working in the NSW coal mining sector shows that over the last 25 years, coal mining has become increasingly critical to regional communities and the state economy. These job numbers also highlight the need to support mining communities,” Mr. Galilee said.

The Hunter region, the largest coal mining area in NSW, reported 14,750 jobs as of March 2024. The Gunnedah region maintained near-record employment levels with 3,116 jobs, just slightly down from the all-time high of 3,253 in April 2023. The Western region reached its highest ever employment figures with 3,585 workers, a significant increase from just over 1,400 when records began in 1998. The Southern region also saw an increase, with 3,344 coal mining jobs, over a hundred more than the previous year.

The demand for NSW's high-quality coal remains strong, with Coal Services reporting an almost 16% rise in exports to major trade partners. Thermal coal exports, crucial for energy production, have increased by over 19%.

“NSW coal mining is playing a critical role in the budget repair task being undertaken by the State Government," Mr Galilee said.

"In particular, the decision to increase coal mining royalty rates from 1 July 2024 was the single biggest revenue decision taken by the NSW Government.”

In addition to coal mining, the metals mining sector in NSW is also thriving, with employment nearing record levels. The latest NSW Mining Industry Expenditure Survey reports nearly 8,000 people working in metals mining.

The coal mining industry's expansion reflects its enduring role in NSW's economy, providing substantial employment opportunities and contributing to state revenue through increased royalty rates. The growth in both coal and metals mining sectors demonstrates the ongoing vitality and resilience of the mining industry in NSW.

Read more about the NSW Minerals Council.

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