PESA says oilfield job losses are accelerating, with more likely to come

By David Wethe on 8/10/2020

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) --Roughneck job cuts accelerated in July and the outlook may worsen as new Covid-19 cases stifle economic activity, according to the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association.

The U.S. oilfield-services sector shed 9,344 jobs last month, a 43% increase from June’s losses, the industry-funded trade group said in a report released Monday. That pushed the industry’s total job casualties since the pandemic emerged to 99,253.

Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico were the hardest-hit regions for oilfield job cuts, according to the report, which crunched U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data with help from the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs. Oilfield employment in American fields hasn’t been this low since March 2017.

“Industry analysts anticipate additional job losses as the pandemic continues and jobs supported by emergency measures such as the Paycheck Protection Program are threatened by congressional inaction,” the report said. “Additionally, rising infection rates may depress economic activity as communities resume quarantines.”

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