Soaring price of oil leads to shortage of accountants

Scotland is beginning to sound a lot like Alberta:

The booming oil price is fuelling an accountancy recruitment crisis in Aberdeen as other firms struggle to match the salaries being paid by the cash-rich energy companies.

Multinationals such as BP, Shell and Schlumberger are taking advantage of the near-record price of a barrel to pay top dollar for professional services as the North Sea continues to thrive.

Here in Canada the tar sands in Alberta are driving incredible economic growth in that province, leading to a shortage of accounting professionals. It isn’t just accountants, of course, who are being wooed west — the region could use all kinds of labour.

It hasn’t come to the point where I’m receiving phone calls from recruiters with jobs in the oil patch, but I have a feeling those already out west are. I know there are plenty of opportunities within my firm to move west and help reinforce our offices in the province.

Ontario has been particular hard hit by the rising loonie, as it is Canada’s manufacturing heartland. Many businesses here depend on exports to the US, and these days their products are much more expensive than they used to be down south.

I have a feeling we’re just beginning to feel the effects of the rising price of oil combined with a weak US dollar, here in Canada and around the world.


Canadian dollar flirts with parity this week

It’s pretty cool that the Canadian dollar reached parity with the US during trading this past week, because I wasn’t even born back in 1976, the last time we were there. To say there’s been a sudden upsurge in Canadian flag-waving is an understatement, but the increase is due to the greenback’s weakening, as the Post points out.

Over the past five years, the United States has been struggling with declining economic conditions, including crippling deficits, that have pummelled the greenback against a large number of major currencies. It did not help, either, that U.S. interest rates have been lower than most of the rest of the world, making the currency less appealing to investors who want yield.

All this results in weakened demand for Canadian exports, which puts a lot of pressure on Canadian manufacturers that depend on business with the US. The “declining economic conditions” mentioned above are also going to drive down demand from Americans for Canadian goods, so businesses here would do well to continue diversifying their customer base in other markets.

As for me, I’m going shopping in Buffalo.