The Texas oil and gas industry has added 12,000 new jobs in six months. That’s a pretty good increase, even though employment in the sector remains below its 2014 peak. And it’s certainly welcome news to the industry. It’s been a long, slow climb out of the doldrums since the price of oil bottomed out in early 2015.
While those new jobs are a promising sign of growth, there’s still a long way to go, according to Karr Ingham, an economist from Amarillo. He creates the Texas Petro Index, which measures oil and gas activity in the state.
“We had a deep drop in employment and other measures of activity but we are thankfully once again on the rise,” Ingham says.
Oil and gas operations and production positions, drilling jobs and service company jobs are all growing in number. These comprise the upstream production of oil and gas employment in Texas. As a result of this new employment, a host of jobs are created outside the oil industry.
“In the transportation sector, in the manufacturing sector, we always understand that these jobs come with a multiplier effect,” Ingham says. “In Texas, I think conservatively we can say that for every oil and gas job directly added on the upstream side, we’ve added another three or four somewhere else in the economy.”
September 2014 was the peak of oil and gas employment in Texas with around 305,000 jobs. Today, around 200,000 people are employed in the industry across the state.
“We lost 115,000 jobs or so, over the course of close to two years –a staggering amount of job loss,” Ingham says.
Ingham says most of the growth and recovery is concentrated in the Permian Basin, although other parts of the state such as Houston are benefitting as well.
Written by Taylor Jackson Buchanan.