Employment in the U.S. oilfield services (OFS) and equipment sector rose by about 0.07% in June versus May to 633,198 jobs, according to the latest monthly report by the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, aka Energy Workforce.

OFS Jobs

The group analyzes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to produce a monthly OFS employment report.

Texas accounted for nearly half of the total at 308,553 jobs. It was followed by Louisiana (52,871), Oklahoma (48,186) and Colorado (25,707).

June saw month/month gains in five of the seven employment categories, with the largest gains coming in support activities in mining and oil and gas extraction.

Slight losses were seen, meanwhile, in the petroleum and coal products manufacturing, and fabricated metal product manufacturing segments, researchers said.

The monthly employment total is the highest since September 2021, but still below the pre-pandemic February 2020 figure of 706,528.

Overall, U.S. employers added 372,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate still at 3.6%, BLS data show.

“It’s encouraging to see job growth continue to increase in the sector,” said Energy Workforce CEO Leslie Beyer. “With eight straight months of gains in the workforce, I’m optimistic that our industry is up to the challenge to meet growing global demand by increasing domestic production while reducing global emissions.”

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Beyer added, “Without the powerhouse of American energy, the world suffers, the economy suffers, and millions of people face energy and food insecurity. We can unleash our domestic production while moving towards a lower carbon future when our leaders focus on expanding opportunities in all domestic energy resources, instead of taking actions to limit access.”

Will Offshore Lease Sales Happen?

The report follows publication by the Department of the Interior of a proposed five-year offshore leasing program for the oil and gas industry that received a tepid response from the industry.

“While it is positive news that the report was finally issued, the big takeaway from this release is that significant uncertainty remains for our nation’s offshore leasing program,” said Energy Workforce’s Tim Tarpley, senior vice president of government affairs and counsel. 

“The program opens up the possibility of 11 lease sales over the next five years, but it is also possible the Biden Administration chooses not to conduct those sales…

“This uncertainty is part of the reason offshore investment has been decreasing. In order to truly bring back the kind of investment needed for new offshore exploration to occur, the Administration is going to have to provide some certainty to this proposed plan. 

“Specific details about upcoming lease sales will be needed.”

Upstream jobs in Texas, meanwhile, dipped slightly in May versus April to 188,700 direct jobs, but this figure was still up 25,500 positions versus May 2021, according to the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners, aka TIPRO.

Lights, Camera, Jobs

Elsewhere on the energy jobs front, the Department of Energy (DOE) is teaming up with actor, producer and climate advocate Robert Downey Jr. to recruit climate professionals to join DOE’s Clean Energy Corps.

The Iron Man protagonist recorded a video with DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm to promote the initiative.

The recently passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated more than $62 billion to DOE to invest in decarbonizing the sector. As a result, the department is seeking candidates from numerous fields including project management, engineering, physical science, legal, information technology, human resources, communications and legislative affairs. 

“Secretary Granholm and the entire Biden administration are tackling the climate emergency head-on by enlisting America’s best and brightest to join the Clean Energy Corps,” said Downey.

Granholm added, “We are reaching out to the nation’s diverse talent, at every stage of their careers, to join the Clean Energy Corps as global leaders in the fight against climate change.”