The oil-field service sector has lost more than 103,400 jobs nationally during the coronavirus pandemic, dragging service employment to the lowest level since the last oil bust of 2014-16.
A BJ Services frack crew operates on a well site near Eunice, New Mexico, in January 2020. The oil-field service sector has lost more than 103,400 jobs nationally during the coronavirus pandemic, dragging service employment to the lowest level since the last oil bust in 2017.
Oil-field service companies shed just 2,600 jobs in August, a sign that job losses in the sector are slowing since the worst of the crude demand destruction in spring. April saw the heaviest job losses totalling more than 58,300 jobs, the largest one-month drop in employment since at least 2013, according to a new report from the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association.
“OFS job losses slowed in August as companies began taking steps to restart oil and gas production,” PESA said in its latest report this week. “While the worst of the cutbacks appear to be behind the industry, considerable uncertainty about the future remains because a surge in COVID-19 cases could derail the economic recovery and suppress demand.”
OIL WOES: Oil and gas production jobs in Texas could hit bottom this fall
PESA and the University of Houston estimates oil-field service employment has contracted by 13.5 percent to 660,170 workers in August, down from 764,189 workers in February. Texas lost the most jobs in the sector (59,000), followed by Louisiana (10,200) and Oklahoma (9,200).
Oil-field service employment is down more than 121,000 jobs, or 15.5 percent, over the past year. The job losses represent wage losses of about $13.1 billion.
PESA is a trade association representing oil-field service companies that manufacture equipment, drill and complete wells and pump oil. The industry association used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to estimate its monthly job report.