April labour force updates

Canada’s direct oil and gas employment declined by more than 7,700 positions in April with about 55% of the net job losses in Alberta, according to the PetroLMI Division of Energy Safety Canada.  

Based on the latest labour force survey (LFS) data released by Statistics Canada today, the industry employed 169,620 workers in April, down 4.3% or just over 7,700 jobs, from March when approximately 177,330 workers were employed. The oil and gas services sub-sector was most impacted with an employment decrease of 8.6% or 6,500 jobs. Both the exploration and production and pipelines sub-sectors also experienced decreases of 0.8% (or – 700 jobs) and 3.7% (or – 500 jobs) respectively.  

In Alberta, there were about 4,300 net job losses in April, which reduced the province’s direct oil and gas workforce to approximately 132,900. Every province and region experienced a decrease in employment, Central Canada, which includes oil development in Manitoba and oil and natural gas wells in Ontario, experienced the biggest decrease of 1,780 workers or 20%. British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Atlantic Canada also experienced workforce declines of 860 (or 9%), 500 (or 5%) and 260 (or 3.1%) respectively.  

Compared to a year earlier, Canada’s oil and gas employment saw a loss of 12.8%, down from 194,500 in April 2019. Employment in every region across Canada has decreased. British Columbia is down 43% or 6,500 positions; Alberta is down 8.4% or 12,200 positions; Saskatchewan is down 25% or 3,200 positions; Central Canada is down 42% or 5,200 positions and Atlantic Canada is down 11% or 1,100 positions. 

Monthly labour force survey data is available on PetroLMI’s Employment and Labour Force Data Dashboard. In addition to the usual labour force survey data that PetroLMI provides – the dashboard now includes employment by age, by type of work and class of worker on a monthly basis, and employment by sex on an annual basis.  

In April 2020, full-time workers continued to make up most of the workforce at 97% or 163,800 people, while there were only 5,900 part-time workers. Full-time positions were down 13%, or 23,400 from April 2019 and part-time positions were down 19%, or 1,400. Ninety-three% of the workforce, or 157,300, were employees and only seven%, or 12,300, were self-employed. Employees were down 12%, or 22,100 and self-employment was down 18%, or 2,700 workers compared to April 2019.  

As of December 2019, there were 41,100 female workers, or 22%, and 146,600 were male, or 78%. And as of April 2020, 56,700 workers (or 34%) were aged 35 to 44; 39,400 workers (or 24%) were aged 45 to 54; 39,700 workers (or 24%) were aged 25 to 34; 22,200 workers (or 13%) were 55 and older and 9,700 workers (6%) were 24 and under. 

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