Randstad Canada News Room

Oil Sands Jobs Help Drive Alberta’s Economy

Posted by Dayana Fraser on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

TORONTO, March 26, 2012 – As Statistics Canada’s recent Labour Market Survey results indicate that after six consecutive months of growth, Alberta’s labour market slipped 0.3 per cent from the previous month, Mike Winterfield, President of the Professionals division for Randstad Canada, the country’s leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services, emphasizes that despite the dip in February, the Oil Sands Jobs are keeping Alberta’s job market healthy.

While at first glance, Statistics Canada’s latest job numbers for Alberta don't appear all that flattering, dropping more than 7,000 jobs in February, the results are not as bad as they look. The province still holds one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 5.0 per cent. Additionally, on a year-over-year basis, Alberta has experienced the highest growth rate in the country (up 2.8 per cent or by 58,400 jobs).

According to Winterfield, the strong numbers are reflective of Alberta’s Oil and Gas sector, with an intense focus on the Oil Sands job marketplace. “Demand has risen over the last 18 months for the resources, resulting in many of the large Oil and Gas owners looking at and re-starting projects which were put into a holding pattern or outright shelved during Q1 2009,” he says.

In Alberta, oil and gas companies are researching, developing and investing, says Winterfield. He describes some of the most notable of these projects being led by companies like Suncor, Imperial Oil, Syncrude, Total and most recently Statoil, who committed to increasing capital investment in the Alberta Oil Sands marketplace. “Suncor has identified approximately $3.6B; almost ½ of their projected spend for 2012 to be spent on new growth projects; with a goal of increasing their production in the oil sands by over 10%. Imperial Oil which currently is in the late design stages of the Kearl Lake project, announced in February a commitment to expand their Cold Lake facilities, with a projected capital cost of $2B,” he says.

The expansion in Alberta is tremendous, says Winterfield. “Back in 2006; the Alberta Oil Sands produced roughly 1.2M barrel a day which was slightly over 40% of the crude produced Canada. This was when less than 5% of the reserves were in productions. Over the last 5 years that number has grown by 50%. The long term belief is that the Oil Sands could account for 5M barrels per day by 2030; this would represent doubling of the current Oil production of all facilities in Canada,” he explains.

“While only a single industry, it touches the all of Canada,” says Winterfield. “From the steel producers in Ontario; the fabrication facilities in Alberta and Quebec, to the electronics manufacturing centers across Canada - everyone benefits when these large projects go forward.”

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About Randstad Canada: Randstad Canada is the Canadian leader for staffing, recruitment and HR Services. As the only fully integrated staffing company in the country, we understand the recruitment needs and demands of employers and job seekers across all levels and industries. Through our insightful knowledge of local markets, employment trends and global network of recruitment experts, we are shaping the Canadian world of work. Visit the employment agency at randstad.ca

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