Energy Blue Print
Employment projections

The Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney modelled the effects of the Reference scenario and Energy [R]evolution Scenario on jobs in the energy sector. This section provides a simplified overview of how the calculations were performed.

employment factors

“Employment factors” are used to calculate how many jobs are required per unit of electrical or heating capacity, or per unit of fuel. They take into account jobs in manufacturing, construction, operation and maintenance and fuel. Table 6.2 lists the employment factors used in the calculations. These factors are usually from OECD countries, as this is where there is most data, although local factors are used wherever possible. For job calculations in non OECD regions, a regional adjustment is used where a local factor is not available.

Employment factors were derived with regional detail for coal mining, because coal is currently so dominant in the global energy supply, and because employment per ton varies enormously by region. In Australia, for example, coal is extracted at an average of 13,800 tons per person per year using highly mechanised processes while in Europe the average coal miner is responsible for only 2,000 tonnes per year. India, China, and Russia have relatively low productivity at present (700, 900, and 2000 tons per worker per year respectively).

The calculation of employment per PJ in coal mining draws on data from national statistics, combined with production figures from the IEA69 or other sources. Data was collected for as many major coal producing countries as possible, with data obtained for more than 80% of world coal production.

In China, India, and Russia, the changes in productivity over the last 7 to 15 years were used to derive an annual improvement trend, which has been used to project a reduction in the employment factors for coal mining over the study period. In China and Eastern Europe/Eurasia a lower employment factor is also used for increases in coal consumption, as it is assumed that expansion will occur in the more efficient mining areas.

China is a special case. While average productivity of coal per worker is currently low (700 tons per employee per year) this is changing. Some new highly mechanised mines opening in China have productivity of 30,000 tons per person per year.70 It is assumed that any increase in coal production locally will come from the new type of mine, so the lower employment factor is used for additional consumption which is produced domestically.

Russia accounts for more than half of the total coal production in Eastern Europe/ Eurasia. Productivity is much higher there than some other regions, and is improving year by year. It is assumed that expansion of coal production in the region will be at the current level of productivity in Russia, and that overall productivity will continue the upward trend of the last 20 years.