Pandemic Wiped 91,680 Jobs in U.S. Oilfield Services Sector

The U.S. oilfield services sector lost 91,680 jobs due to pandemic-related oil demand destruction, according to a monthly report compiled and published by trade group Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA) on Tuesday.

Demand for drilling services sank after oil prices collapsed earlier this year, pushing several oilfield services firms to file for bankruptcy, incur heavy losses and cut jobs. Easing of virus-related restrictions, however, has led to a rebound in demand for fuel and related products.

Oilfield sector employment rose 0.4% in November as companies sought to balance increasing oil and gas production with the uncertainty caused by a surge in COVID-19 cases, which has led to renewed lockdowns and reduced demand, the report said.

Employment rose slightly for a third straight month, with the sector adding an estimated 2,665 jobs in November, compared with 5,091 in October and 1,498 jobs in September, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PESA analysis. However, it was down to 665,836 jobs in November compared to 747,446 a year earlier, a decline of 10.9%. The jobs lost represent annual wages of about $10.3 billion.

Within the sector, companies providing support services for oil and gas extraction saw the most job losses during the pandemic at 77,810, 85% of the sector’s total job losses, PESA’s analysis found.

 (Reporting by Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru)

Credit: PESA

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