​Canada lost 3,000 oil and gas jobs in April

Canada’s oil and gas sector continues to bleed jobs, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

Direct oil and gas employment declined by more than 3,000 positions in April, with about 40 per cent of the net job losses in Alberta, PetroLMI said on Friday.

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Total direct employment of 194,500 workers in April was down approximately 1.5 percent compared to 197,600 workers in March.

“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,” said Carol Howes, vice-president of PetroLMI, in a statement.

“Despite strong employment gains experienced across other industries last month, Canada’s oil and gas industry continues to see job losses.”

Alberta saw the bulk of the job losses in April, or about 1,200 positions. This reduced the province’s direct oil and gas workforce to approximately 145,100, PetroLMI said.

British Columbia was the only province to see an increase in oil and gas employment, up 2.3 per cent (or 300 jobs), while Saskatchewan, Central Canada and Atlantic Canada also experienced losses in April.

Year-over-year, oil and gas jobs increased across Canada by approximately 2,400 compared to April 2018, however employment in Alberta and Saskatchewan decreased by nearly 3 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. This resulted in a loss of 4,300 jobs in Alberta and 200 jobs in Saskatchewan, PetroLMI said.

“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,” Howes said. 

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