Wood Buffalo Experiencing Worst Job Loss Over Past 10 Years

The end of 2019 wasn’t too kind to the workforce across Wood Buffalo.

The region is experiencing its biggest job loss over the past 10-years, currently sitting under 80,000 positions across the many sectors that operate in the area.

According to Statistics Canada, the last time Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake was under this mark was back in April 2012.

Back in 2010, the number of positions sat around 75,000 for the year.

This doesn’t include data from June 2016 to September 2016 as it wasn’t collected during that time due to the Horse River wildfire.

From July 2019 to December 2019, Wood Buffalo lost around 6,000 jobs. This is the worst six-month stretch over the past 10-years.

The second-highest total occurred from October 2015 to February 2016 where 4,900 positions were eliminated.

Over the past six months, the forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas sector has taken the biggest hit.

The sector, alone, has lost approximately 2,900 spots – currently sitting around 20,900 positions.

Despite the loss in jobs, over the second half of 2019, the number of workers in the field is up from 2011 where they averaged 18,300 workers throughout the year.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake is sitting at 4.2 per cent.

This is the lowest it’s been since June 2014 where it was sitting at 4.1 per cent.

The decrease in the unemployment rate and the number of jobs could be due to the number of people who are leaving the area.

According to the 2018 census done by the municipality, the population has decreased by 10 per cent.

The RMWB is planning on doing another census in 2020.

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