While Eastern provinces like Ontario continue to struggle with unemployment, the labour markets in the prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan are growing stronger based upon gains in the oil and gas sectors.
“Salaries in oil and gas this year are rising slightly faster than we projected, and labour markets in Western Canada are tightening,” said the Conference Board of Canada’s Ian Cullwick upon release of the organization’s annual survey on compensation. “We have heard from natural resources firms that virtually all of them are having trouble finding the skilled workers they need.”
The report focuses on salary gains and predicted growth across the country from 2012 into 2013. After surveying over 200 organizations, the findings indicate the highest levels of projected salary growth are in Saskatchewan and Alberta, at 4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia have the lowest projected growth rates, all below the national level of 3 percent.
The report gives evidence to the labour shortage concerns increasingly expressed by professional organizations in the oil and gas sector, particularly as more Canadian baby-boomers retire.
“The growing labour shortage, particularly for skilled tradespeople, is an opportunity well worth considering by current and future job seekers,” said a spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “The latest employment forecast from the Petroleum Human Resources Council says the oil and gas industry will need 9,500 new employees in the next two years alone. And the current phenomenon is chronic, not cyclical like past labour shortages. That means the door is open for long-term, secure, well-paying skilled trades such as electricians, welders, pipefitters, technicians and specialists. These are high-quality jobs offering people rewarding career opportunities.”
Companies will increasingly be looking to minority groups to fill these positions, including women, aboriginals and immigrants. Employers are hoping that higher wages will attract more workers to these sectors in the coming years.
Source: Calgary Herald