More workers needed in Canada, but US shale encouraging domestic jobs

shale workers

The large natural gas boom in the United States is attracting many workers that historically head north to work in the Canadian gas fields. The Financial Post reported this has created a sort of "battle" between U.S. companies and those in Canada fighting for workers.

Gas-drilling companies offer dramatically higher wages in Western Canada, the article stated. While some are drawn by the higher pay, others are choosing jobs domestically. It's expected the rise of shale oil and natural gas in the United States could add more than 1 million jobs to the nation's manufacturing industry.

“You get a big [liquefied natural gas] project that takes place and then you get several of these big refinery projects and then here comes a new ethylene plant,” said Mike Bergen, executive vice president of market based research firm Industrial Info Resources, according to the article. “That’s going to draw a lot of labor.”

The demand for labor workers in Alberta means average wages for electricians, boilermakers, plumbers and pipefitters, carpenters and structural steelworkers can be 70 to 136 percent higher than the median wages seen in the United States, according to the Financial Post. The demand in Canada for industry workers isn't expected to slow down. The article said new developments in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia will require more workers. Oil sands production is expected to increase 44 percent in the next few years, as well.

PennEnergy's research area offers details on the oil and gas industry in Canada.

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