JOB vacancy growth in the resources and energy sector has hit its first hurdle in 16 months, with a slight decline reported for September.

The cooling of the market follows a sustained upward spiral of jobs growth, as reported in the latest analysis from DFP Recruitment’s national Mining and Resources Job Index.

DFP highlighted a 1.3 per cent weakening in job vacancies for September.

Year-on-year job vacancies remained 18.1 per cent higher in the sector compared to September 2017.

“The growth has certainly slowed and the increase is now six per cent in the last six months,” CEO Robert van Stokrom said.

Permanent job vacancies have been leading the way, up 26.4 per cent in year-on-year figures.

However, the month of September inflicted the first fall in 12 months, with a 2.2 per cent decline.

Temporary and contractor job vacancies have remained flat and increased only 0.3 per cent in September.

In year-on-year analysis, temporary and contractor vacancies are up seven per cent.

In the breakdown of states, job opportunities in Western Australia fell by 1.8 per cent in September.

It follows solid increases in the west over the past 12 months, with a 24.5 per cent spike in year-on-year figures.

Vacancies in Queensland fell 1.8 per cent last month and are now up 15.6 per cent over 12 months.

Metal ore mining continues to lead the jobs market, reporting a further rise of two per cent in vacancies, stretching demand up 22.9 per cent across the past 12 months.

Coal and mineral mining vacancies continue to be volatile month-to-month, up 51.4 per cent for the past 12 months, but only rising 0.8 per cent over the past six months.

The oil and gas sector has experienced strong growth this year, with the sector’s job vacancies up 34.7 per cent in the past year, but only growing 1.9 per cent in the past six months.

Engineering professionals were the only occupational group to rise in September.

The trades and operators category continues to lead the way over the longer term.

Opportunities in operational management remain the most limited growth category, with continued weakness lagging all other sectors, with only a 4.4 per cent over 12 months.