indicatorThe Owl

Energy sector jobs in Canada

The energy sector accounted for 1.6 per cent of all jobs in Canada last year

By ATB Economics 27 October 2020 1 min read

Yesterday’s edition of the The Owl looked at the value added economic output (a.k.a. GDP) generated by Canada’s energy sector and how it stacks up against other segments of the economy. At about 9.0 per cent of Canada’s GDP in 2019, the energy sector’s contribution is nothing to sniff at.

Today, we take a quick look at the number of direct jobs in the energy sector and how this compares to other parts of the economy. (We will look at the quality of the jobs—using pay as a proxy—in a future Owl.)

According to Statistics Canada, the energy sector* accounted for 1.6 per cent of all jobs in Canada last year. This works out to 301,610 positions. Of these, 177,640 were oil and gas** jobs or about 0.9 per cent of all jobs in the country.

By way of comparison, Canada’s auto sector was home to 0.7 per cent of all jobs in Canada last year (132,570) while generating 0.8 per cent of national GDP.

Zeroing in on Alberta where over half of Canada’s energy sector jobs are found and over three quarters of the country’s oil and gas jobs are located, 6.5 per cent (156,385) of all jobs in the province were in the energy sector as of 2019.

The largest number of direct jobs in both Canada (11.4 per cent) and Alberta (11.8 per cent) are found in the health care and social services sector followed by retail trade at 10.6 per cent and 10.1 per cent, respectively.

*Includes oil and gas (see below), coal mining, uranium ore mining, and electric power generation, transmission and distribution.

**Oil and gas includes extraction, support services such as contract drilling, pipeline transportation, natural gas distribution and petroleum refineries. It does not include gas stations which are included in the retail sector.

At 11.4 per cent, the health care and social services sector has the largest share of jobs in Canada

At 11.4 per cent, the health care and social services sector has the largest share of jobs in Canada


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