Alberta politicians are getting pretty stoked about oil production reaching record levels in the first 11 months of 2021.
For example, check out this tweet from Sonya Savage, the energy minister:
Her tweet got retweets from Doug Schweitzer, jobs minister; Ric McIver, municipal affairs minister; and Pat Rehn, the UCP MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.
Here’s Jason Kenney, the premier:
Josephine Pon, the minister of seniors and housing quotetweeted Kenney’s tweet:
Record production levels aren’t that big of a deal. They increase nearly every year, as seen in the images in the above tweets.
But I was curious what jobs in the oil sector looked like last year. I mean, if oil production was up, then surely jobs were up, too.
According to Statistics Canada, there were 136,900 people working in the “forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, oil and gas” sector in December 2020.
A year later, there were 143,000 people working in the same sector. That’s an increase of 6,100.
So while 2021 oil production increased 8.6% over 2020 levels, oil jobs increased 4.5% during the same time period.
While I was at it, I decided to check out the job numbers for every December over the last 10 years.
While oil and gas jobs did increase in 2021, they’re still lower than December 2018 levels and nowhere close to where they were in December 2013.
We’re pretty much making up for all the jobs lost in 2019 and early 2020.
UPDATE: In an earlier version of this story, I claimed that there was no increase to oil and gas jobs in 2021. However, I had based this conclusion on accidentally reading the national data as Alberta data. While there were no increases to oil and gas jobs in Canada last year, Alberta definitely saw an increase.