For the week ending Oct. 31, 2015 the Labor Department reported that Michigan led the nation with the most filings for unemployment at 3,942, mostly due to the decline in the manufacturing sector. The same report put Texas as losing 517 jobs. However, the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers says different.
Petroleum Economist Karr Ingham put out a comprehensive Texas Petro Index with data dating all the way back to 1995. The largest takeaway was the prediction the state of Texas could lose 40,000 to 50,000 oil and gas jobs during the production downturn, and the drop in oil prices has forced additional rounds of layoffs across the state over the summer.
Ingham said in a statement earlier this week, “It is certain that job losses have continued. We now appear to be well beyond that estimate and the end is not in sight.”
The Texas Petro Index is designed to gauge the industry’s health by measuring production numbers, how many active drilling rigs, and the total number of jobs in the oil and gas sector. The TPI acquires its data on employment from the Texas Workforce Commission and their monthly employment statistics. Their latest number is 30,000 jobs in oil and gas lost between December and September.
Other key takeaways:
• 279,600 Texan men and women are currently employed by oil and gas companies
• This is a decline of 8.3 percent from the employment number of 305,000 in December 2014
• The number is still substantially higher than the lowest point during the recession in October 2009, when it was at 179,200
• Drilling permits fell by more than half from 15,217 in 2011 to 7,407 in 2015
• Rig count in the state fell by more than half from 885 in 2011 to 385 in 2015
• Natural gas output grew by 2.6 percent to 728.5 billion cubic feet
Lilia Fabry is the owner of MPP Freelance, a writing and web design firm in Houston, TX.