According to a report by the ABC, about a third of geologists are underemployed or unemployed, due to a lack of exploration and consistently low commodity prices.
The Australian Institute of Geoscientists’ most recent quarterly survey revealed that of the 666 respondents, 15.5 per cent were unemployed. Self-employed geoscientists underemployment figures sat at 16.9 per cent.
Both statistics are up since the quarter ending in September, and combined they mark the second highest recorded since the institute began the survey in June 2009, at the end of the global financial crisis.
A number of unemployed senior-level geologists are now applying for low-paid graduate jobs, and competition is high.
The institute’s president Wayne Spilsbury said that years ago, graduate positions had $90,000 salaries, but now geologists are offering to work for free.
One Perth-based geologist, Catherine Turnbull, who applied for a position at a mid-tier resource company discovered she was just one of 200 applicants, all of whom had applied for the role within 48 hours of its advertisement.
“A couple of recruiters I’ve spoken to say senior levels, people with five, 10, 15 years’ experience, they’re the most unemployed,” Ms Turnbull told the ABC.