In today’s economic environment, fluctuations in oil prices are resulting in regular revisions
of capital and operating expenditure projections. This report, together with other industry and sectoral employment outlooks to be released in 2016, serve to provide projected employment based on 2015 spending projections, as well as forecasted production volumes released by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) in June 2015 (yet to be revised). Further reductions in capital expenditures or production will have a downward impact on employment.
The oil sands sector is expected to experience continued hiring in operations and construction as the sector moves, for the first time in its history, from a period of expansion into a phase focused on improving the reliability and performance of existing operations. This is a significant shift from previous employment outlooks and reflects the substantial capital already invested in large oil sands projects to date. The oil sands sector is expected to find ways to reduce cost structures, improve profitability and therefore continue to hire construction, operations and maintenance workers, albeit at a lower rate than previously projected.
Since oil prices began their dramatic decline in November 2014, Alberta has seen a significant number of deferrals, delays and cancellations of in situ oil sands projects and a significant reduction in employment. While Alberta has seen the largest impact from decreased investment, reductions have also had a national impact as the sector employs almost 55,000 construction, operations and maintenance workers from across Canada.
By 2020, 54,145 direct construction, ongoing maintenance and operations workers are estimated to be employed in the sector, a decrease of approximately 430 (-1%) jobs over 2015. The growth of 5,170 (+17%) operations and 4,700 (+38%) ongoing maintenance jobs are offset by a decrease of 10,305 (-84%) on-site construction jobs. This demonstrates that the shift away from a period of expansion into a phase focused on improving the reliability and performance of existing operations will continue through to the end of 2020.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Labour demand outlook to 2020: oil sands construction, maintenance and operations