Relative Deprivation vs. Transition: Rehabilitating laid-off young oil workers in Kelowna and beyond

Matt Husain, Bowen Matheson


Our paper investigates young and early career mobile workers as well as their home communities in the Okanagan Valley. By using random selection methodology and open-ended interviews, this paper further explores two inter-related objectives: mobile workers’ relative deprivation from unemployment and poor financial management planning / skills and (2) impacts on family / relationships. Initial findings indicate multiple issues ranging from limited or zero savings, to lack of awareness in financial management and strain on family life. Building upon that, the findings further offer to broader perspectives. For example, rising inflation combined a stagnant wage could lead to deepening economic inequality. Finally, this paper also aims to identify measures that can be implemented through public-private initiatives to enable the laid off oil workers to transition into Kelowna’s thriving construction and housing sector, among others.

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.