2015 Archives

Texas oil industry lost 8,300 jobs in April


The following is from the May 22, 2015, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Bernard Weinstein, an economist and associate director of SMU's Maguire Energy Institute, provided expertise for this story.

May 28, 2015

Staff Writer

Job losses in Texas’ oil and related industries continued to mount in April, dragging down job growth for the rest of the state.

Texas lost 8,300 oil jobs last month — the biggest decline in that sector in six years and the fourth straight month of such job losses. The last time Texas saw this big of a drop in the oil industry was April 2009, during the last recession, when 10,500 jobs were lost. Before that, the biggest loss was in July 1986, during the last big oil crisis, with a drop of 9,000 jobs.

Still, Texas managed to gain 1,200 jobs in April — a comeback from March, when 25,200 jobs were lost — but still the smallest gain in more than four years, according to data released Friday by the Texas Workforce Commission. The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent in April, well below the U.S. rate of 5.4 percent. . . 

“I don’t think there’s any surprise that those numbers are starting to show given the fact that oil prices are still 40 percent lower than a year ago and the rig count is still half of what it was a year ago,” said Bud Weinstein, an energy economist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “We’ve seen 150,000 announced layoffs by large oil and related companies.”

“A consensus seems to be building that $60, plus or minus, may be the bottom,” Weinstein said. “If that’s true, the worst may be over for the industry. We’ll still see job losses, but I don’t think it will be a rout like in the mid-1980s.”

Read the full story and related charts.

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