Fort McMurray is in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region of Alberta. Nestled in the heart of the energy sector, Fort McMurray is heavily reliant on oil sands jobs. Unfortunately, the recent drop in oil prices has caused the oil sands industry to decline dramatically. Unemployment has spiked as a result, hitting 8.3 per cent in April 2015. During the same period in 2014, unemployment in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region was only 4.7 per cent. Over that 12-month period, oil and gas companies laid off over 4,500 employees and may potentially lay off more employees in the future.
While the oil sands industry has suffered, the job market in Fort McMurray does have its highlights. Outside the industry, 12,500 new jobs have been created in the area. These jobs reside primarily in the service sector.
Fort McMurray, AB Job Opportunities
In the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region, employment growth is expected to be strong in the construction industry, with increasing job opportunities for construction managers and residential builders and renovators. In the finance field, you can expect strong job growth for financial officers and loan officers.
If you're looking for jobs in administration or management, you'll find ample opportunities including positions for property administrators, accommodation service managers, HR specialists, and customer service representatives. With the right education, you can take advantage of the job growth projected for both chemical and mechanical engineers. In IT, the job market is particularly strong for information systems analysts.
Fort McMurray, AB Employment Trends
Fort McMurray took a big hit from the decline in oil sands jobs, but growth in other areas has proven that job seekers can find a diverse range of employment opportunities here. Job growth has been stronger in the public sector than the private sector, and self-employment has increased as well.