Booming oil sands industry not enough to keep workers in Alberta: StatsCan

Only 1 in 4 job seekers staying in the province permanently
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/05/2013

Despite the appeal of a booming job market in the wild west, Alberta is having difficulty wrangling its workers to become permanent residents, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada.

On Sept. 4, an inter-provincial study of employees in Alberta was released, indicating only one in four job seekers decided to stay in the province permanently. Between 2004 and 2009, however, Alberta saw an influx of workers — totalling 133,000 at its peak in 2008. StatsCan chalked that up to the province’s rapidly growing energy industry.

“The expansion of Alberta’s oil and gas sector and the broader economic activity associated with it made the province an attractive destination for job seekers throughout the 2000s,” the study reads. “In most years from 2004 to 2009, the number of inter-provincial employees working in Alberta was higher than the number of new residents moving to the province.”

Of those incoming workers, 74 per cent were men under 35 in 2008, but over the scope of the study, workers aged 35 and up rose from 35 per cent to 47 per cent. And while about half of male workers were employed in the construction and oil and gas sectors, one-third of inter-provincial female employees worked in the retail trade and food services industries.

Typically, it was the younger, single employees who hail from the Atlantic provinces that were most likely to call Alberta their fixed home.

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