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Labor Report Indicates U.S. Energy Sector Job Losses Mounting

The U.S. mining/extraction industry, which includes the oil and gas sectors, had 104,700 fewer jobs in September than a year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

New government data compiled by Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that last month the mining/extraction industry lost 8,300 jobs.

Support activity, which includes oilfield services, took the biggest hit, with 7,200 jobs estimated to be lost. The oil and gas extraction workforce (exploration and production) contracted by 1,100.

Mining/extraction employment overall fell by 10.3% month/month from August. Support activity employment fell 7.2%, while oil and gas jobs declined by 1.1%.

In the past couple of weeks, two big workforce reductions have been announced that affect the United States.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. said it would reduce its workforce by 15%, or 740 people, with most of the job losses to impact Oklahoma City headquarters (see Shale DailySept. 29). Once cuts are completed, Chesapeake said it would have about 4,000 employees.

Halliburton Co., the biggest pressure pumper in North America, also confirmed last month it was "making adjustments" to its workforce because of current business conditions (see Shale DailySept. 24). Halliburton did not detail how many layoffs were anticipated but said North America would take the biggest hit. Prior to last month’s announcement, Halliburton since the start of the year, when it employed 80,000 people worldwide, had fired about 12,800 people.

Houston-based oil and gas recruiter Swift Worldwide Resources estimated last month that more than 200,000 people worldwide in the oil and gas sector have lost their jobs since the oil price rout began. It has estimated that 50,000 people were laid off between the middle of June and September.

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