Over the past 16 years, gold has increased by $878.90 per ounce delivering returns to investors of 324%. Whether you are in the market for gold jewelry or gold bullion, it is easy to be blinded by the glittering performance of the precious metal. However, it is also interesting to learn how the gold mining industry has contributed to the economies of developing nations and the lives and fortunes of over a million people worldwide.
The gold mining industry has been very good to gold-producing countries – especially to developing countries. Over the decades, gold mining has helped gold-producing countries employ thousands to run the mining operations as well as work in jobs related to gold mining. In a recent report, Gold.org, points out that the gold industry directly employed over a million people worldwide as recently as 2013.
90% of the people employed by gold mining companies are local to the region. This leads to significant economic growth in developing countries and provides not only mining-oriented jobs but services associated with the industry, including construction, logistics, raw materials handling and much more. The number of mining-related jobs often correlate to the size of the gold-producing country. For instance, China is the largest producer of gold and as such, also generates the most jobs.
The report further touches on the positive effect that the gold mining industry has had on developing countries. It says that for each job created by a gold mining company in Asia or Africa, there is a greater number of corresponding jobs indirectly created in the supply chain than there are for each job created by a gold mining company in North America. “The multiplier impacts also highlight the role that mining can play in supporting the diversification of an economy in less developed countries,” reports Gold.org.
While the jobs created from gold mining may not be as plentiful as in other industries, they are considered “high value.” For one, gold mining jobs pay higher and in some cases even produce more revenue for the gold-producing countries versus other industries. For instance, in India, the gold industry has had a positive impact on the economy. While “… the apparel sector (in India) … employs four times as many people as gold mining does …it generates less than 10% of the value generated by gold mining.”
In addition, in the developing gold-producing countries, the salaries in the gold industry tend to be “significantly above-average … where each worker typically supports a high number of dependents,” according to Gold.org.