Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Research: Laid-off oil-patch workers in Kelowna

The Journal of Rural and Community Development just published an interesting article on the experiences of laid-off oilpatch workers who reside in BC’s Okanagan Valley. Many of these workers commuted to jobs in Alberta’s north prior to layoff.

Relative deprivation vs. transition: Rehabilitating laid-off young oil workers in Kelowna and beyond” explores the impact of unemployment on these workers and their families.

Among the notable findings are the significant financial impact (both real and perceived) of unemployment. These effects are compounded by poor financial planning (sometimes compounded by substance abuse) and limited skill transfer to jobs available in the local economy (which was oversupplied with workers).

This paper makes a useful contribution to the literature on mobile work by looking at the effect of mobile work on sending communities. It extends research that to date, has largely focused on Atlantic Canada, such as Nelson Ferguson’s article on Cape Breton. It also extends our understanding of the culture of oil-and-gas workers, building upon Dan Houser’s chapter on rig-hand culture and safety in Alberta.

-- Bob Barnetson

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