Up to half of all new jobs created in the next few years will be in sectors related to the booming mining industry, the Reserve Bank of Australia says.
RBA deputy governor Dr Philip Lowe said strong demand for Australian resources meant jobs growth was likely to continue in the mining sector and related industries.
"It would not be surprising if, over the next few years, growth in mining-related employment, broadly defined, was as high as half of the total growth in the Australian workforce," he said in a speech in Melbourne.
Mr Lowe said that calculations based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that, at present, the resources sector accounted for about 16 to 17 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product.
The figure includes mining as well flow on effects to other industries, such as construction and manufacturing.
Meanwhile, mining-related employment accounted for about 8.0 per cent of the total Australia workforce, although only one in three of those were directly employed in mining and resource processing.
Mr Lowe said the sector was growing about 12 per cent a year.
However, the boom in mining investment was not benefiting the rest of the economy as much as the RBA expected, with much of the mining industry's needs being met through imports.
"The strong growth in aggregate demand that we have seen has, at least to date, not boosted domestic production in the same way that might have occurred in the past," he said.