The second quarter of 2014 has shown encouraging signs of continued hiring in the oil & gas sector as all regions, except Australasia, experienced a significant uplift in the number of available jobs. Business activity and government action have impacted the industry, both positively and negatively, leading to hiring spikes in many regions.
The Hays Oil & Gas Job Index, which charts the number of jobs posted on nine oil and gas job portals across the world, rose to a high of 1.99 at the end of Q2 - a strong uplift from 1.65 at the end of the first quarter and 1.69 year-on-year.
The Job Index was established in October 2010 when it was set at 1; all subsequent months have been compared to this benchmark. Many of the regions are facing an increase in hiring for 2014 and are revamping salaries, bonus structures and benefit packages in order to attract top talent in in-demand specialisms.
“The second quarter has seen strengthened hiring in the oil and gas industry; most regions worldwide have reported an uplift in job vacancies compared to the first quarter of the year,” said John Faraguna, Global Managing Director of Hays Oil & Gas. “We’re optimistic that the global economic recovery is gaining momentum despite the political landscape in Russia and the Ukraine and the instability in the Middle East. Capital investment should continue, perhaps increasing, despite pressure on companies to improve cash flow and show returns on the investments made in the past 5-10 years. Overall, we expect continued growth in demand for highly skilled workers, although demand in some regions and skill sets is softening.”
Trends by region
As well as a global perspective, the Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index also provides a measure of month-to-month jobs posted by region. The figures from April to June 2014 (Q2) reveal:
The number of job vacancies peaked in Q2 due to ambitious growth in the original equipment manufacturers and in the geoscience and petroleum disciplines. Employers are resisting the increasing salary demands from candidates with in-demand skills and the disparity between salaries sought and offered is widening.
Overall, the general Australian economy has showed some signs of stabilisation and slight growth. Government and commercial businesses are focussed on keeping the industry in Australia competitive in the global market. As projects move through to completion or shutdown stages, the candidate pool has been refreshed with an available skilled workforce; particularly in construction and project delivery. Business development and sales professionals are in demand to sell internationally manufactured products into phase 2.
The second quarter saw the number of job vacancies hit a three-year peak in North America amid a shift in business and resource focus. Regulatory and environmental hurdles hit pipeline projects in Canada in Q2; the resulting uncertainty causing major project to turn attention to rail transportation and pipeline reversal plans. The North American subsurface market is showing further signs of moving towards operation and production. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) market continues to see strong hiring activity both in large scale export facilities and smaller domestic projects and demand for LNG specialist knowledge is expected to remain high for the remainder of 2014.
While the Job Index has declined year-over-year and has been relatively flat between Q1 and Q2, we have recently seen a rapid surge in jobs advertised in the last two months. The increase in job vacancies is the result of several new projects being announced, resulting in an increase in demand for engineers from a range of disciplines. The Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Manufacturing sector has experienced a strong second quarter with a high demand in design and manufacturing skills.
The spike in job vacancies is the largest among all regions in the Q2 Global Job Index. The recent Government announcement in Mexico to allow private business to invest in the Gulf of Mexico has reinvigorated the industry and we expect to see significant investment into the area from major operators. With this reform Mexico opens up its reserves of deep water and onshore shale plays.
The African labour market continues to strengthen as hiring activity increases into the second quarter of 2014. Exploration in South Africa is set for growth in the country’s offshore acreage resulting in a focus on the upstream sector. However, the mineral and petroleum resources development bill has caused unease in the sector nationally, which if not overcome, could drastically impact the labour market.
COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS)
Despite the current political landscape the labour market in Russia has been strong in the second quarter. Projects CIS are progressing, in particular in exploration and production, and in Russia there is a supply of qualified, local candidates ready to join when projects come on stream.
The second quarter ended on a high as employers sought to attract the best talent for their projects. In particular, the drilling sector has been buoyant with national oil companies and oil rig constructors reporting strong business activity. Employers are looking to address the skills shortage; businesses are revising employee benefits to attract top talent and we have seen large scale investment into training by oilfield services companies and operators.
About the Hays Oil & Gas Job Index
The Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index provides a measure of month-to-month jobs posted on the principal online job portals within the global oil and gas industry. The data is compiled by a team of analysts and researchers, and is broken down to reflect regional differences in hiring activity.
To view further detail on the index and the regional results please go to the Hays Oil & Gas website at http://www.hays.com/oil-and-gas/Job-Index/index.htm