Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and according to the US Dept. of Labor “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
The US Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its latest report, notes that “Employment of mining and geological engineers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth for mining and geological engineers will be driven by demand for mining operations. In addition, as companies look for ways to cut costs, they are expected to contract more services with engineering services firms, rather than employ engineers directly.” In 2016, the Bureau reported that there were 7,300 mining and geological engineers.
Other reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show data for the Mining (except Oil and Gas) subsector, which includes industries that “primarily engage in mining, mine site development, and beneficiating (i.e., preparing) metallic minerals and nonmetallic minerals, including coal. The term “mining” is used in the broad sense to include ore extraction, quarrying, and beneficiating (e.g., crushing, screening, washing, sizing, concentrating, and flotation), customarily done at the mine site.”
According to this report: the employment by occupation includes:
- Continuous mining machine operators – 13,830 workers
- Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators – 10,430
- First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers – 7,190
- Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators – 19,880
- Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer – 15,020
The numbers for the oil and gas industry are slightly different, and include these job descriptions and statistics:
- First-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers – 30,400
- Helpers–extraction workers – 11,720
- Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers – 2,490
- Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators -27,130
- Roustabouts, oil and gas – 45,000
Additionally, Support Activities for Mining subsector group primarily provide “support services, on a contract or fee basis, required for the mining and quarrying of minerals and for the extraction of oil and gas. Establishments performing exploration (except geophysical surveying and mapping) for minerals, on a contract or fee basis, are included in this subsector. Exploration includes traditional prospecting methods, such as taking core samples and making geological observations at prospective sites.”
What’s all this mean? That there are a lot of hardworking people in the mining industry who deserve to be celebrated on Monday. Happy Labor Day.
Editor’s Note: Looking for technology related to the mining industry? VIsit our Cement, Coal, and Minerals section of our website for free resources, including videos, application notes, white papers, infographics, and ebooks.