A study of the mining industry conducted by the recruiting firm Hays found that a majority of companies cut staff this year and that many more intend to do the same next year. The cuts are creating stress for current employees.

According to the firm’s findings, 55 percent of mining companies cut their numbers of employees in 2015. Another 40 percent indicated that they plan to make staffing cuts in 2016.

Employers in the resource and mining industry are concerned about skills shortages. Seventy-six percent of employers said they had noted moderate to extreme talent gaps among their staff.

In spite of the skills shortage, mining employers are generally not hiring new employees to fill gaps. Sixty-three percent of resource and mining employers reported that they were not actively hiring new graduates.

Employees are feeling the effects of reductions in staffing. Many reported burnout and low morale in the workplace. Hays said current employees are feeling the pressure more than ever.

Work has become harder for employees in the oil and gas industry. Seventy-three percent said they experienced moderate to extreme pressure in the workplace due to the lack of employees and skills.

Salaries for mining professionals are expected to grow at a more modest pace in 2016 than they did in 2015. In 2015, 8 percent of companies reported no salary increase. Twenty-one percent said they do not plan to raise salaries in 2016.

Some oil and gas employers want to add incentives to attract talented workers. The top three incentives that companies plan to offer are work-from-home options, pension/RRSP contributions, and flexible work hours.