latest-news-headlines Market Intelligence /marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/oilfield-services-sector-job-losses-surpass-100-000-since-start-of-pandemic-60264764 content esgSubNav
In This List

Oilfield services sector job losses surpass 100,000 since start of pandemic


Master of Risk | Episode 6: Masters of Risk-Jennifer Reynolds


Infographic: U.S. Solar Power by the Numbers Q2 2023


Infographic: U.S. Energy Storage by the Numbers Q2 2023


Insight Weekly: Bank mergers of equals return; energy tops S&P 500; green bond sales to rise

Oilfield services sector job losses surpass 100,000 since start of pandemic

The U.S. oilfield services sector has lost more than 100,000 jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic began, dropping employment in the industry to its lowest level since March 2017, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Oilfield services providers employed 660,770 people in August, down 15.5% year on year, the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association, or PESA, said in its monthly Oilfield Services and Equipment Employment Report. As a result, the sector lost about $13.1 billion in wages.

PESA, a trade association representing the oilfield services sector, said companies began taking steps to restart oil and gas production in August. About 2,600 oilfield services and equipment workers lost their jobs, which PESA said was the smallest one-month decline since March, when COVID-19 began widely spreading.

Overall, the U.S. economy added 1.4 million jobs in August and the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, according to PESA's report, which uses statistics from the federal agency.

Texas reported 59,000 oilfield services jobs lost so far in 2020, the largest number of job losses in any U.S. oil-producing state, PESA said. Louisiana reported 10,200 fewer oilfield services workers employed and Oklahoma shed 9,200 jobs in the sector.

Filings with the Texas Workforce Commission show Houston-based Seadrill Americas Inc. and BJ Services Co. among the latest Texas oilfield services companies to report layoffs.

In an Aug. 11 notice to the Texas Workforce Commission, Seadrill said it would release 168 workers by Oct. 1, and B.J. Services reported in July that it would let go of 195 workers by Aug. 2.

"While the worst of the cutbacks appear to be behind the industry, considerable uncertainty about the future remains because a surge in COVID-19 cases could derail the economic recovery and suppress demand," PESA said.