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Job ads break for xmas after September peak: Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index

Job ads break for xmas after September peak: Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index

As expected, the Hays Oil & Gas Global Job Index took a seasonal dip in the last quarter of 2012 despite continued recruitment activity right up until Christmas.

The Index, which charts the number of jobs posted on nine oil and gas portals around the world, stood at 1.23 in December compared to the “close to all-time” peak of 1.59 in the months of August and September last year. The Index was established in October 2010 when it was set at 1. All subsequent months are then compared to this base.

“As in previous years the Global Job Index fell in the final quarter of the calendar year, reflecting a slowdown in activity as the year came to a close. Whilst this is a larger fall than in previous years, in contrast our own recruiters saw continued activity all the way up to the Christmas break,” says Matt Underhill, Managing Director of Hays Oil and Gas.

“This is a typical pattern in a busy year, where recruiters may rush to close off their assignments before they head off for the break. In essence new job postings can wait till the New Year where there will be more time to devote to them and when candidates are more likely to be in the market for a new role.

“With Christmas also falling on a Tuesday we saw little activity, if any, in the week preceding the year end - the point at which we record our figures. This also contributed to the low numbers we saw for the end of December. The rate at which the Index rebounds in early 2013 will give us an indication of the what’s “normal” this year for the sector. ”

Matt said the second half of 2012 was undoubtedly a strong period of recruitment in the oil and gas industry with activity through most regions of the world.

“European fears were waning and we had started to see more economic good news than bad,” he says.

“China’s relative lack of growth put a hole in the commodity prices and this in turn reduced the work load of many in the mining industry, and particularly the engineering and design houses. A certain amount of redeployment went into oil and gas projects to use up spare manpower capacity, and this ultimately reduced the need to go to the market to hire. This said, exploration and production activity were largely untouched and continued to show good job numbers.”

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 October to December 2012 reveal:

AUSTRALASIA

Australia is now experiencing the peak in construction work with a whole raft of mega projects on site. The only saving grace for the country’s stretched skill base is that the mining industry saw a downturn in the quarter, freeing up much-needed skills to redeploy into LNG projects. Whilst this was good news for stake holders on these projects, it reduced new hiring considerably and saw the index in Australia drop to 1.05 in December, down from a peak of 1.50 in October.

ASIA

Asia saw a slight easing of the Job Index to 1.48, reflecting a sustained busy market through most of the last six months. Continued investment in India, China and Malaysian fields, increasing fabrication work in Korea, and a general drive on non-conventional assets are the principle developments behind the buoyant market.

NORTH AMERICA

In North America, as with other northern hemisphere regions, the drop off in activity happened early as the winter months arrived. In previous years the bounce back has been pretty quick in the New Year and we’d expect the same in 2013. Both Calgary and Houston are experiencing significant skill shortages at present with counter offers and sign-on bonuses now the norm.

RUSSIA & CIS

The other major Northern Hemisphere region is Russia and the CIS and again we saw a slowdown in activity for job postings as autumn arrived. The index in this region now sits at 0.87 – the lowest of any of our regions apart from South America, and the largest drop in activity since last quarter.

SOUTH AMERICA

The index in South America continued to oscillate between 0.8 and 1.0, and is a patchwork of varying fortunes. Brazil is in a holding pattern until new auctions in the second quarter of next year give the market a lift. Argentina and Venezuela are struggling with falling production and development in general, where as Colombia is the leading light in the region with a great deal of opportunity and activity, all be it on a smaller scale than some of their bigger neighbours.

MIDDLE EAST

The Middle East continued to thrive in 2012 and unsurprisingly the end of year failed to stall the progress. With the oil price sustained at high levels, operators are all seeking to develop assets and boost productivity. This produced an index of 1.44 in December, off an all-time high for the region of 1.5.

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