Job Losses Climb in Oilfield Services

Job Losses Climb in Oilfield Services
Texas has shed more OFS jobs this year than six other states combined.

U.S. oilfield services and equipment (OFS) employment fell by more than 9,300 in July, bringing the total OFS job loss count tied to COVID-19 demand destruction to 99,253, the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association (PESA) reported Monday.

“OFS job losses accelerated from 6,524 in June to 9,344 in July as COVID-19 cases surged across the country,” PESA observed in a written statement announcing the release of its monthly Oilfield Services and Equipment Employment report.

PESA – working with researchers from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston (UH) – also estimates the number of U.S. OFS jobs fell 13 percent from February to July of this year: from 764,189 to 664,936. The majority – 59,306, or 59.7 percent – of pandemic-related job losses in OFS occurred in April, added PESA, which obtained employment figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to PESA, overall U.S. OFS employment has declined 15.1 percent since June 2019: from 785,106 to last month’s count of 664,936. It pointed out the 15.1-percent drop in OFS jobs represents approximately $12.7 billion in lost annual wages. The organization noted the following seven states have shed at least 4,000 OFS jobs in 2020:

  • Texas: 59,200 jobs lost
  • Louisiana: 10,200
  • Oklahoma: 9,200
  • Colorado: 5,000
  • New Mexico: 4,500
  • California: 4,500
  • Pennsylvania: 4,400

“Industry analysts anticipate additional job losses as the pandemic continues and job supported by emergency measures such as the Paycheck Protection Program are threatened by congressional inaction,” stated PESA. “Additionally, rising infection rates may depress economic activity as communities resume quarantines.”

Citing Small Business Administration data, PESA also concluded that Payment Protection Program loans have supported roughly 180,000 OFS jobs.

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