Direct vs. Indirect Jobs

At a Glance

  • It can be difficult to distinguish the direct and indirect jobs generated by an extractive project.

  • One way to do this, as put forward by the International Council on Mining and Metals, is to consider whether employees normally carry out their work physically at the mine site or not.

Case Studies

Key Resources

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Mind the Gap: Solving the Skills Shortages in Resources

This report analyzes the skills shortages in mining from an Australian perspective. The recommendations presented are broadly useful, ...

The Challenge of Mineral Wealth: Using Resource Endowments to Foster Sustainable Development

This resource presents an in-depth case study examining why structural and macroeconomic reforms in Peru have not resulted in improvements ...

Issues in Estimating the Employment Generated by Energy Sector Activities

This paper describes the various measures of employment, by category, that are widely used in the extractives industries, and examines ...

Topic Briefing

Assessing the direct job needs of the mining industry  can be difficult. The same is true of the oil and gas industry. Job and skill needs change over time in response to market changes, technological advances, and the life cycle of extractive projects.

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It can also be difficult to distinguish between direct and indirect jobs generated by an extractive project. For example, employment statistics may classify workers at a mine site as construction workers; the classification can depend on the location or nature of the company employing them. The  International Council on Mining and Metals, which has commissioned several country case studies that evaluate indirect job creation, simply considers whether an employee normally carries out their work physically at the mine site. Based on this criterion, a worker at the mine site is a direct employee; a worker who is normally not at the mine site is an indirect employee. While this definition is not perfect, it avoids some of the statistical problems caused by mining companies’ various outsourcing practices.