Mining and Energy; China and the Gulf

By Ted Dieck | Candidate Advisory - Reviewed | Jun 23, 2010

Those are your drivers for job creation.  Some things government just can’t stop.

We’ve talked about each of these individually. Now, some of them are coming together in very powerful combinations. 


This is your biggest force. Not only does China continue to grow, but China has also decided to let the yuan rise slightly against the U.S. dollar. (The goal of our government is to run the dollar down as low as possible, in an old game of stiffing our lenders. We borrow expensive dollars and pay with cheap dollars.)

What it means to trade: Companies selling to China will seem to have products and services that are slightly more affordable. Companies buying from China will have a tougher time of it.

What it means for jobs: This is a good thing for companies that sell products that China is buying hand over fist.  For example, it makes the mining and energy industries even stronger.

A stronger yuan also supports the “onshoring” strategy that wants to brings jobs back home.  Overseas suppliers just got a little bit more expensive for Americans.


Equipment, shippers, and the stuff they get out of the ground.  All of it is active.  Coal, copper, and gold are strong.  Steel is cranking up.

The Rail Freight Report says shipments of metallic ores has tripled over last year’s volume.  Here’s my blog on that:

AAR Points Me To Jobs Potential In Metals


Baker Hughes shows a good and improving rig count.   In fact, capacity never did drop off much.

Politicians are the primary obstacle.  Unimpeded, Natural Gas continues to gain. Marcellus Shale continues to grow. Land based oil drilling is active.

Don’t forget nuclear. The silence means politicians are out of the way.  This is real.

I’m still uncomfortable recommending government sponsored projects for a career. Wind, solar, and bio are not competitive and strike me as seriously unreliable for long term jobs.

I’m learning now about Smart Grid. Power companies need it whether the government plays or not. Could be very good.


As you know, I have a special interest in integrators.  This is a resilient, highly adaptive group.  Their strength is coming back.  I am seeing significant positions start to come open. Many firms had been cut to the bone.  When they see a clear shot at unimpeded business, they’ll have to re-fill full time positions.


If you need a quick way to earn grocery money, the Gulf clean up is intense.  I’m watching a steady stream of people pack up and leave the Keys to go to New Orleans.  Best opportunities seem to go to those with licenses to operate large boats and ships.  Hazmat training helps.

Pay is good.  Hours are long.

I’ve seen people asked to commit within two hours of a phone call. Arrival times are often “Next Day.”

Shaw, Haliburton, and Fluor seem to have picked up contracts.

I’m not close to this.  Not involved.  But if you need a gig, Google up BP Oil.  You’ll find jobs fast.  They’re in a hurry.

If you do go that route, stay safe.  It’s nasty.