Texas oil and natural gas employment posts 6th consecutive month of growth

By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square

Texas oil and natural gas job growth grew by 15.4% this November compared to last November, with 2,400 upstream jobs added last month, data from the Current Employment Statistics report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show.

For the past six months, employment gains in the Texas oil and natural gas industry have exceeded 2,000 jobs every month with the average monthly gain being 2,633, Texas Workforce Commission data show.

With 185,800 upstream jobs in November, jobs in the industry were up by 24,800, or 15.4%, from last November. Since the low employment point in September 2020, growth months have outnumbered decline months 12 to 2, with the industry adding 28,300 Texas upstream jobs.

“The Texas economy continues to rebound and the upstream sector’s addition of two thousand-plus jobs every month for the past six months is a prime example of how critical this industry is to the state’s recovery,” Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, said in a statement. “These jobs pay among the highest wages in Texas and the activity of this industry supports communities across the state, whether you live in the oil patch or not. These positive job numbers are good news for all Texans and Americans.”

The upstream sector includes oil and natural gas extraction as well as the industry sectors of refining, petrochemicals, fuels wholesaling, oilfield equipment manufacturing, pipelines, and gas utilities, which support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs in Texas. It also includes some types of mining.

The Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) notes there were 65,914 total active job postings in the industry in November, of which 9,613 were unique jobs compared to those posted in October. 

TIPRO evaluated 14 specific sectors within the industry and found that the most unique jobs available were in Support Activities for Oil and Gas Operations, followed by Crude Petroleum Extraction and Petroleum Refineries.

The top three types of jobs oil and gas companies sought to fill in November were heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers, maintenance and repair workers, and industrial engineers.

The three cities with the greatest number of unique oil and natural gas jobs are in Houston, Odessa, and Midland, and the companies listing the most unique jobs were Halliburton, National Oilwell Varco, Inc., and Delek US Holdings.

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker says the industry continues to grow, positively impacting Texas’ economy despite “any related restrictions to economic activity or underinvestment in the oil and gas sector.”

He also projects that with growing demand for oil and gas expected to increase next year, tighter supplies and higher prices are expected. However, “a more restrictive regulatory environment for the U.S. oil and natural gas industry would further exacerbate both and add to inflationary pressures,” he added.

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