Edmonton is a city in the midst of the oil sands boom. It’s been a few years since I’ve been out here and the changes are apparent everywhere. New building everywhere and traffic to match. The highway in from the airport has been widened and the trip that used to pass through fields and ranches now has Home Depots and housing.
Nowhere is the boom more evident than in the job market. Restaurants have whole sections closed off because they can’t find wait staff to work them. Signs are everywhere promising bonuses and incentives to prospective employees. My company has a hard time finding and keeping warehouse and office workers who are lured away by the constant bidding for their services. Whether they stay in Edmonton or make the trek north, it’s an employee’s market.
Sooner or later, the boom will bust. The Alberta government is demanding higher royalties from the oil companies. It’s hard to imagine that the need for oil will slacken but nothing lasts forever. How long this up cycle will last is for the gamblers in the stock market to bet on but Edmonton is certainly riding the wave.