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Canada's Changing Labour Force, 2006 Census: National picture


Oil and gas workers: Small group with fastest growth in employment

The shift in industrial demand for workers to different parts of the economy had an impact on the occupational make-up of the nation.

The oil and gas industry is still relatively small, but its rapid expansion in recent years has meant huge gains for a number of occupations.

The number of oil and gas well drillers, servicers, testers and related workers almost doubled to 11,500, making it the fastest growing occupation between 2001 and 2006. The number of supervisors in oil and gas drilling and services rose 47.2% to about 9,400.

The housing boom, especially in the western region, ignited a round of hiring. Production clerks, many of whom are employed by construction businesses, saw their numbers increase 73.3% to 24,100. The ranks of construction inspectors also grew by 61.8% to 13,700, the fifth fastest growing occupation.

The number of construction trades helpers and labourers rose 57.2% in 2006 to nearly 143,900. Between 2001 and 2006, their ranks expanded by 52,300. In 2006, this occupation ranked seventh among the fastest growing jobs.

Although not among the 10 fastest growing occupations, real estate agents increased their numbers by 25% to 61,100 in 2006.

Many big ticket purchases such as homes, cars and furnishings increased work for loan officers. According to the 2006 Census, there were nearly 35,400 loan officers, a gain of 13,900 since 2001.

Employment growth was also strong among postsecondary teaching and research assistants (+65.7%). This gain mirrored the increase in postsecondary enrolment in recent years. As noted earlier, there was a large increase in employment in the education industry.

Census data showed 36,500 working estheticians, electrologists and related occupations, up 57.4% from 2001, the sixth fastest rate. This growth could be a reflection of Canada's expanding spa industry.

Table 1 Fastest growing occupations, 2001 to 2006, Canada

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