The decrease in oil prices in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic has dealt a significant blow to the Texas oil and gas industry. The industry has lost 107,000 jobs during the pandemic, according to Reform Austin News, and oil field employment is down by half from its peak in December 2014.
Job recovery will come as the price of oil begins to rise again. The upstream sector of the oil and natural gas industry added 700 jobs in September, bringing the total upstream employment in Texas to 170,500 jobs. These jobs pay among the highest wages in the state.
This is the first uptick since February.
The upstream sector involves oil and natural gas extraction and excludes other industry sectors such as refining, petrochemicals, fuels wholesaling, oilfield equipment manufacturing, pipelines and gas utilities, which support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs.
“At a time when some question the future of oil and natural gas, this small but positive job growth is an indicator of better days ahead,” said Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) President Todd Staples. “Oil and natural gas jobs power modern life, and we do not need political obstacles blocking the rebound of essential jobs. This industry is indispensable to our daily lives and will be a valuable part of the energy mix for future generations.”