The number of mining jobs in the United States increased in March according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today.
Mining jobs include positions related to oil and gas extraction, which increased by 1,800 last month. Employment in the mining sector overall has risen by 35,000 jobs since a low in October 2016 – just a month before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed on a deal to reverse the international oil supply glut. The Brent oil price has spiked since then, pulling up commodity prices with it.
Rigzone reports that the increase in employment could be attributed to new investment in the Permian Basin. Two-and-a-half years of low barrel prices had led to mass firings in Texas. Now oil and gas majors are beginning to rehire lost manpower.
Oilfield services companies, the sector hardest hit by the market downturn, are also ready to go on hiring sprees.
President Donald Trump campaigned on promises to revitalize and deregulate the fossil fuel industry. The slow market recovery is more likely to be the cause of the job additions than any proposed or implemented policy changes as of yet.
This week, the American Petroleum Institute released a report predicting “widespread negative impacts on American jobs” if the Customs and Border Protection Agency’s revised reinforcement rules for the Jones Act are passed. A new definition for “vessel equipment” would affect the passage of oil and gas ships on American waters.
Related: U.S. Threatens OPEC As Oil Exports Hit Record High
Critics of the amendments say the revisions undermine Trump’s goals of achieving American energy independence by increasing regulatory red-tape for oil and gas companies.
Data from the API report shows 30,000 lost jobs in 2017 if the new rules are passed, with a majority of cuts expected in the Gulf of Mexico area. Government revenues would fall by $1.9 billion, the institute estimates.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…