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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
U.S. Skilled Craftsmen Flock to 'Hotspot' of Alberta, an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 01/07/13 -- Researched by Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- As industrial development rapidly escalates in the Canadian province of Alberta, particularly in the oil sands region of the province, U.S. skilled craftsmen are taking advantage of the employment opportunities and higher wages offered there. Skilled labor is in great demand in Alberta for craftsmen including:

  • Electricians

  • Boilermakers

  • Plumbers, Pipefitters & Steamfitters

  • Carpenters

  • Structural Iron & Steelworkers

Demand for these crafts in Alberta is expected to increase exponentially as industrial development continues growing.

The U.S. is experiencing a surplus of workers in these trades, particularly for carpenters, electricians and structural iron & steelworkers. For example, research for Industrial Info's 5-Year Labor Supply and Demand Outlook shows that there is a surplus that equates to approximately 29% of the number of carpenters actually demanded in the U.S. this year -- almost 290,000 surplus carpenters. This rises to an estimated figure of almost 32% in 2017, representing a surplus of approximately 363,000.

With this in mind, skilled U.S. workers are keeping an eye on locations like Alberta, where demand for these trades is high, leading to a corresponding increase in wages. Average wages in the five crafts listed above are anywhere from 70% to 136% higher in Alberta than median U.S. wages, depending on the trade.

Some of the fastest-growing opportunities in Alberta's oil sands region are for plumbers, pipefitters & steamfitters. The Plumbers & Pipefitters Union Local 288, focused on the oil sands sector, currently employs between 3,000 and 3,300 U.S. travelers. The union expects this number to increase more than 400% by 2016, while across the whole of North America, jobs in this category are expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020. Other trades are also expecting an increase in demand as industrial projects reach peak construction and new projects kick off.

On the whole, while a surplus of skilled labor currently exists and will exist in the U.S. in the coming years, high demand and higher wages will exist in rapidly developing locales such as Alberta.

Industrial Info's 5-Year Labor Supply & Demand Outlook discusses these trends and opportunities in more detail, while our Manpower Market Analyzer tracks the current and future supply and demand of skilled craft labor across North America. Sizing the future demand across multiple crafts by man-hours, headcount and cost of labor enables planners to support their longer-term training and recruitment needs and that they are completely aligned to current and future needs of the market.

For more information on these products, contact Tony Salemme, vice president of Industrial Info's Craft Labor Group at or by calling IIR's toll-free number, (800) 762-3361.

Industrial Info Resources (IIR), with global headquarters in Sugar Land, Texas, and eight offices outside of North America, is the leading provider of global market intelligence specializing in the industrial process, heavy manufacturing and energy markets. Industrial Info's quality-assurance philosophy, the Living Forward Reporting Principle™, provides up-to-the-minute intelligence on what's happening now, while constantly keeping track of future opportunities. To contact an office in your area, visit the "Contact Us" page.

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Joe Govreau
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