Miners may turn to less-skilled workers
In demand: Skilled pipeline workers.

The Department of Treasury has been told mining companies may be forced to use less experienced staff to proceed on a significant pipeline of construction in the sector.

In its quarterly economic roundup, Treasury says the mining industry is facing challenges recruiting and contracting workers, particularly for highly-specialised technical positions.

"With a significant pipeline of construction, these shortages were expected to continue in the near term," Treasury said.

"In some cases, there were reports that this could lead to either sourcing less-experienced staff or breaking up contract work into smaller parts."

In the non-mining economy, there were signs of upward pressure on wages in the construction sector with mining firms increasingly looking to hire workers with complementary skills.

"However, contacts generally noted that, with demand in other parts of the construction sector relatively weaker, this was unlikely to be a pressure in the near term," it said.

Outside of a strong resources sector, and related mining servicing firms, the economic story continued to be mixed.

While some parts of the manufacturing, retail and services sectors reported slightly improved or steady activity, others reported continued softness.

"With demand across the some parts of the non-mining economy muted, some firms reported that they were focussed on supporting existing demand rather than organic growth," it said.

"In the retail sector, some contacts reported continued softness and that customers were increasingly using online options to purchase goods such as clothing and accessories."

Every quarter, Treasury meets or holds teleconferences with business and organisations through its business liaison program.

The West Australian

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