Nat. Gas Industry Responsible for 600,000 Jobs in Canada - Study

Nearly 600,000 Canadians were working in jobs supported by the natural gas industry in 2008, providing a substantial impact to the nation's economy, according to a new study released today by IHS Global Insight. The study, titled "The Contributions of the Natural Gas Industry to the Canadian National and Provincial Economies," is unique in that it specifically calculated the number of jobs supported by the natural gas industry, numbers usually found only in combination with oil industry employment figures.

The report also details the significant economic benefit the industry has for Canada, contributing more than $106 billion in 2008 to the nation's GDP. In fact, IHS Global Insight found that the economic impact of the natural gas industry in Canada was larger than the total GDP of all but four Canadian provinces that year.

"This study represents the first systematic attempt to measure the impact of natural gas alone on the total Canadian economy as well as on individual provinces' economies," IHS Global Insight said in the report. "All of the provinces...have natural gas related jobs. Even those with no natural gas production have direct jobs in other areas, such as natural gas distribution, pipeline transportation, or upstream support and construction services."

Comparing Canadian results with its similar study of the U.S. natural gas industry, IHS Global Insight found that natural gas had a greater relative impact in Canada, accounting for 3.5 percent of all Canadian jobs and roughly 6.7 percent of Canada's GDP, as opposed to only 2.1 percent of all U.S. jobs and 2.7 percent of U.S. GDP.

"This study shows definitively that clean, abundant natural gas is a significant driver of Canada's economy and supports a substantial number of jobs in the country," noted Eric Marsh, Executive Vice-President, Natural Gas Economy of EnCana, one of the largest producers of natural gas in North America. "As we make decisions about job creation, energy production and our transportation future, it's crucial we keep in mind just how central natural gas is to Canada's economy and Canadian families' lives."