Permian basin is now an anchor dragging down jobs in Texas, Dallas Fed says

By David Wethe on 11/28/2019

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) - The world’s biggest shale patch is now officially a drag on jobs creation in the Lone Star state.

Employment in the Permian basin of West Texas has fallen by 400 jobs through the first 10 months of the year, a massive change from the 16,700 jobs added through the same period last year, according to a report Wednesday from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

“Permian basin job growth has been sluggish this year,” according to the report. “This marks the first time since 2016 that Permian basin employment has lagged Texas job growth.”

The employment numbers are just the latest in a series of signs highlighting a slowdown throughout the 55 million-acre (22 million hectare) region in West Texas and New Mexico. With investors pressing oil explorers to focus on returning profits to shareholders, drilling activity in the Permian has dropped to the lowest level in nearly two years.

Housing is also starting to take a hit there, the Dallas Fed said. In October, the region’s median home price fell 2.6% from August to $301,045. Monthly home sales fell 3.6% from September.

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