Job hunt continues for many in Calgary as oil prices rise

Calgary employment experts are still cautious about job growth, despite an oil rally on word of an OPEC production freeze and federal approval of two major pipeline projects.

'Am I going to see a lot of hiring? No,' employment expert says

Veteran Calgary recruiter Nair Bailey says it's too soon to know if Calgary's job market will turn around for unemployed workers in the energy industry, such as engineers.

Calgary employment experts remain cautious about job growth, despite an oil rally on word of an OPEC production freeze and federal approval of two major pipeline projects.

Veteran recruiter Nair Bailey, who helps professionals like engineers find jobs, says it's been a tough two years for people looking for work.

He's cautiously optimistic about recent developments, but warns it's too early to measure any employment impact.

"Am I going to see a lot of hiring? No, I think it's going to be very measured hiring in key positions that are needed to move the projects forward."

He hasn't seen an increase in activity in his recruitment office.

"Companies will have to step back, take a look at their plans, who they've got in place, what they have to do to move forward with a project before we start to see some activity. Some companies are going to be well positioned to move forward quickly and that's good to see." 

More jobs since summer

There's been a moderate rise in job activity since the summer, says Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president at the employment agency Robert Half.

It's hard to tell how recent developments will impact the job market, she says.

"We may see sort of slow and gradual versus any kind of sharp big recovery, but at least it's good news."

The price of oil pushed through $51 US a barrel on Thursday.

Calgary's unemployment rate sits around 10 per cent and recent Statistics Canada numbers suggest capital spending in Canada's oil and gas sector is down about 30 per cent from last year.