​Alberta oil companies have cut jobs but not wages: ATB

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

While it is estimated that about 40,000 people have been laid off since the oil price collapsed in 2014, the people who are still employed are still making a lot of money, noted ATB Financial this week.

“In September of this year the average weekly earnings for an employee in Alberta’s resource sector was $2,287—close to the record high and nearly 25 per cent higher than five years ago. It’s not the cost-cutting measures one would expect,” ATB said in its The Owl newsletter.

“Rather than cutting wages, energy companies have been eliminating workers. Over the last two years—roughly from the time oil prices started to fall—Alberta’s oil companies have reduced employment by 29 per cent.”

ATB says this is evidence of two things.

“The first is that Alberta has lost a lot of high-paying jobs and that is taking a toll on the economy. The second thing we learn is that energy companies are opting to cut staff, not wages. If you're still employed by an oil company in this province, you still likely enjoy the highest average earnings in the country.”

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