Oilfield jobs have been a big topic of discussion over the past few weeks, especially since the recent closure of the US oilfield job sites at Eagle Ford in Texas.
With a peak of nearly 4,000 jobs advertised at the Eagle Ford site last week, the industry has been on edge since the shutdown.
However, it’s still unclear what the next phase of the shutdown will mean for oilfield workers in the United States.
“We’re still a long way away from really seeing an end to the downturn, but there are a lot of oilfield jobs,” says Rick Jones, CEO of the Oilfield Services Association, a labor organization that represents oilfield employees.
Jones says it’s likely the downturn is over, but the jobs are still being advertised and available for job seekers.
“The unemployment rate for oil field workers is 4.8 percent.
The unemployment rate of oil field managers is 7.5 percent.
These are jobs that are going to remain vacant, but they’re still available for people who need them,” he says.
Jones adds that the number of oil workers who are looking for work remains a bit high, but that the demand is outstripping supply.
“You have to look at what’s going on across the world.
The U.S. unemployment rate is 8.6 percent.
If we were in that situation, it would be hard for oil fields to function.”
Jones says that the lack of oil industry jobs is also likely to play a role in the national economic downturn.
“What is happening in the oil industry, and particularly in the US, is that there’s a huge shortage of workers.
If you have a shortage of oil, you get people who are going into other industries, but it’s a shortage in the form of oil,” Jones says.
For now, Jones says oilfield industry workers are still getting the support they need to stay employed.
“It’s very encouraging to see the number [of oilfield] jobs advertised is at a point where we’re not losing them,” Jones adds.
“If oil prices stay where they are and oil stays at $50 a barrel, I would not be in a position to lose my job, but I would be in the position to look elsewhere.
If it were to go up to $70 a barrel I would still be able to survive and work for the oil companies.”
Jones adds oilfield companies are still taking a hit from the shutdown and it’s unclear if it’s going to affect their future operations.
“When you have oil prices falling, you’re going to have to make tough decisions, and you have to consider what kind of businesses you’re looking to start, and what kind you’re not looking to.”
For the most part, oilfield employment is in good shape, with companies in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas posting unemployment rates in the low-single digits.
However that may change when oil prices increase further.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the state of Oklahoma dropped to 6.5% last week.
That’s lower than the national rate of 6.9%.
Jones says the industry is doing well overall and he hopes the unemployment rate will drop further.
“There are a number of reasons why we have an oil field job vacancy rate in the high single digits,” Jones said.
“First, the companies that are hiring are mostly oilfield-specific companies, and we’re seeing a lot more of those companies that want to hire oilfield people.
We also see a lot higher rates of hiring in other industries as well.”
Jones says while the unemployment figures are encouraging, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
“Oil fields have been doing well over the last few years.
It’s still a big challenge for us, but we still have some work to do.
We still have a lot to do.”
To see how job seekers are doing at the oilfield sites, we asked the Association of Oilfield and Gas Professionals, a trade association representing oilfield employers.
In response, the association’s executive director, Steve Johnson, says the group has no comment on the unemployment situation for oilworkers.
“These are all jobs that we have, and they’re all open.
And they’re not all available for oil workers,” Johnson says.
Johnson adds the number posted for oilfields across the country is not representative of the entire industry.
Johnson says oil companies are struggling to find the right employees, as the downturn has not impacted hiring.
“Our industry is struggling.
I can’t think of any industry that’s not struggling.
We’re not having the same type of job openings that we had before the oil crisis.
We’ve lost our jobs, and people are leaving,” Johnson adds.
In fact, the number that oilfield hiring has experienced the most are those who were employed on-site.
“So, we are experiencing a significant downturn in oil