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Some 3,000 people in Canada’s oil and gas industry lost their jobs between April and May this year, a new report from Petroleum Labour Market Information found as cited by The Star. According to the report, this represented a decline of a bit over 2 percent with more jobs opening in other industries, notably healthcare and education.
Unsurprisingly, it was the exploration and drilling segments of the industry that suffered the hardest blow as Canadian producers curb investment in these activities to focus on ongoing projects amid a persistent pipeline shortage that is constraining their expansion plans.
A PetroLMI official, however, said the job losses could be a temporary occurrence: the spring is a slow period for Canadian oil as the frost thaws, the ground gets muddy and unsuitable for drilling until it dries. Still, the abovementioned factors may have contributed and they could drive a longer-term job loss in the industry.
An earlier report from PetroLMI found that this year’s hiring requirements of Canada’s oil and gas industry will be 8,236 people lower than a year ago, with projected employment for the year seen at 173,348. That’s almost 12,500 people fewer to be hired by the industry because of slower activity.
This is understandable in light of spending projections for Canada’s oil and gas from PetroLMI. The agency calculated that capital spending on conventional oil and gas this year will be 28 percent lower this year than last, at US$15.28 billion (C$20 billion). Capex in the oil sands segment was seen down 5 percent to US$9.17 billion (C$12 billion).
With this year’s projected job losses in the oil and gas industry, the total lost since the 2014 crisis struck could reach 23 percent of the total five years ago. At the time, Canada’s oil and gas industry employed 226,500 people.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.