Alberta oil and gas jobs continue to disappear

But the province gained 21,400 jobs in April and employment was up by 26,600 year over year

Alberta’s economy experienced strong employment gains in April, but not in the oil and gas sector.

According to PetroLMI Division of Energy Safety Canada, direct oil and gas employment across Canada declined by more than 3,000 positions in April, with about 40 per cent of the net job losses in Alberta.

Overall in Alberta, the province gained 21,400 jobs in April and employment was up by 26,600 year over year. The unemployment rate fell to 6.7 per cent from 6.9 per cent in March.

Citing Statistics Canada data, the organization said the oil and gas industry employed 194,500 workers in April, down 1.5 per cent or just over 3,000 jobs from March, when approximately 197,600 workers were employed.

While the exploration and production sub-sector experienced a one-month gain of about 3,200 jobs for total employment of about 103,300, the oil and gas services and pipeline sub-sectors saw declines of 5.2 per cent (or 4,200 jobs) and 12.1 per cent (or 2,000 jobs) respectively.

Carol Howes
Carol Howes

“Despite strong employment gains experienced across other industries last month, Canada’s oil and gas industry continues to see job losses,” said Carol Howes, vice-president of communications at PetroLMI Division of Energy Safety Canada in a statement.

“Overall, we have seen a net loss of about 2,700 jobs since the beginning of January. While there have been gains in the exploration and production sub-sector of about 12,500 jobs, the services sub-sector has lost about 9,800 positions and the pipeline sub-sector has lost about 5,400.”

The organization said there were about 1,200 net job losses in Alberta in April, which reduced the province’s direct oil and gas workforce to approximately 145,100.

“While some of the job declines in the oil and gas services sub-sector may be related to the start of spring break-up, the decline in capital spending and uncertainty over market access continues to impact hiring,” said Howes.

The Petroleum Labour Market Information Division of Energy Safety Canada is funded by the government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program and is a leading resource for labour market information and trends in the Canadian oil and gas industry. PetroLMI specializes in providing labour market data, analysis and insights, as well as occupation profiles and other resources for workforce and career planning.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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