After almost two years of seeing jobs disappear, energy companies saw some good news emerge last month as the job rate remained steady in the month of September.
With the stabilization of oil prices, the industry may finally be poised for job growth. Baker Hughes notes that in the third quarter (July-September) of this year, the industry added 95 drilling rigs, which makes for a total of 425. That number may seem small when compared with the rig count of 614 from the previous year; however, that increase was the industry’s first since 2014.
From 2014 to 2015, energy companies in the United States cut spending, and moreover, cut approximately 220,000 jobs. But the spike in prices this year, which hit the crucial $50 per barrel mark, has helped to spur on a recovery. Those prices had, at one point last year, hit $30 per barrel, which was the low-water mark in 11 years. Although higher prices at the pump may cause some heartburn for drivers, the cost of gas is still comparatively low versus two years ago.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration, on average last month, a gallon of regular gas cost $2.22, which is a 40 percent decrease from $3.69, which is what consumers were paying in June of 2014. In 2008, drivers were shelling out around $4.00 per gallon.
Economists at Barclays commented, “With sizeable declines in energy prices now largely behind us, the slowdown in employment will not continue.” Independent Economist Diane Swonk out of Chicago said that the recent uptick in oil prices could spur new investments in drilling and exploration. According to the Department of Labor, overall, employers in the United States added 156,000 jobs last month.
Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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