Another 8,700 oil jobs are at risk if prices drop below US$50

CALGARY — Despite two years of layoffs and heavy cost cutting, jobs in the Canadian energy sector continue to be at the mercy of price swings, says a new report that warns 8,700 more jobs could be lost if prices drop below US$50 per barrel.

Enform, a Calgary-based firm that researches labour market trends in the Canadian energy industry, released a study Thursday showing the oilpatch lost 52,500 direct jobs between 2015 and 2016 “along with thousands of indirect jobs.”

The study also shows tentative plans by oil and gas companies to rehire laid-off workers could be delayed until 2018 and “further restructuring will occur,” leading to 8,700 jobs losses if West Texas Intermediate oil prices fall well below US$50 per barrel.

The WTI benchmark price rose one per cent Thursday morning to US$50.22 per barrel.

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