Despite the United States adding 173,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate dropping down to 5.1 percent, the oil and gas industry suffered again. The August jobs report released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed mining jobs declined by 9,000, with 7,000 of those losses in support activities for mining.
The seasonally adjusted figures show that there were 1,100 jobs lost in oil and gas extraction since July 2015 while 7,200 jobs were lost in support activities during the same time period.
Reeling from the decline in global crude oil prices, oil and gas companies small and large have laid off employees month after month. The downturn also set the stage for bankruptcies, acquisitions, company restructuring and other cost-cutting initiatives as many companies adjusted to the “new normal” of oil prices. Several analysts have expressed they expect a prolonged period of low oil prices that could last well into 2016.
Unfortunately, companies have continued to layoff and there could be more layoffs in the future. Houston-based geoscience company ION Geophysical Corporation announced Sept. 2 it would implement an additional 25 percent workforce reduction.
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