2017 could be a big year for the energy industry in Alberta.
Vice-president of communications with the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada, Carol Howes told the Alberta Morning News Sunday, if the industry grows like it’s projected to, it could show what the next five years will look like.
“Really it depends on if we see oil moving for $50 up $55, that’s kind of what we’re expecting. And if we see that we’re going to see some growth starting to happen this year, then into 2018 and beyond.”
Despite the projected upswing in the industry, other country’s oil production will have a big impact on jobs in Alberta.
“If we start to see more production coming on stream, then its very nature starts to push the price of oil down,” Howes said. “And then what happens is companies start to pull back on their spending and expansion plans, because if they can’t make money at $50 or $55 they start to reduce some of their spending.”
The sector lost about 25 per cent of its jobs in two years by 2016, but Howe said that’s only counting direct jobs.
“Direct jobs are really those who are working directly for exploration and production companies, and service companies and pipeline companies. But if you account for all the job losses that have happened in construction related companies, and manufacturing and transportation, certainly the number goes well above that.”
She said an aging workforce will also factor into the number of available jobs in the next five years.