Upstream oil and gas employment in Texas gained 4,300 jobs in March, which brought the statewide headcount to 184,700, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (TIPRO) reported earlier this month. 

txoga jobs graph

The trade group noted the sharp jump in Permian Basin drilling permits issued in February. Exploration and production (E&P) companies also have begun to respond to “higher commodity prices and the call to increase domestic production to address global supply shortages.”

TIPRO, which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics report, added that the state upstream headcount was up 21,700 jobs year/year. The annual increase included 18,100 more oilfield services (OFS) and 3,600 more E&P-related jobs, the organization said. Nationwide, OFS employment recently hit its highest level in months.

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The top region for oil and gas industry employment is in Houston, which –as of the end of last month– had added 1,500 upstream jobs to reach 64,500 direct positions, TIPRO said. Houston metro upstream employment in March had 5,300 more jobs than a year ago, including 2,100 more E&P-related and 3,200 more OFS positions.

Separately, the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA) said the state’s upstream sector added 27,700 jobs through March, or an average of 1,539 jobs per month, since falling to a pandemic low in September 2020.

“The Texas oil and natural gas industry has proven resilient over the years and continued job growth in the upstream sector benefits every American and our environment,” said TXOGA President Todd Staples.

More March Job Listings

Active unique natural gas and oil job industry listings in Texas totaled 11,433 in March, up 14% from February, TIPRO reported.

The trade group examined job listings across 14 industry sectors. The top category in March was once again support activities for oil and gas operations with 3,167 postings. Crude petroleum E&P and petroleum refineries were the next highest at 1,512 and 1,040 listings, respectively.

With 3,895 total unique oil and gas job postings, TIPRO concurred that Houston was the top city for March listings. Permian hub Midland was second at 1,256, followed by neighboring Odessa with 583. 

According to TIPRO, the top three companies based on unique job postings in March were Baker Hughes Co. (637), Weatherford International plc (494) and Halliburton Co. (488).

With 489 unique postings, heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers accounted for the No. 1 occupation in TIPRO’s analysis. Taking second place were software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers (271), followed by personal service managers (270).

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker predicted that “domestic production will continue to increase in the coming months.” However, he added that operators continue to face constraints to growth potential such as “workforce shortages, higher material costs, and an uncertain regulatory environment.

“Our industry needs more than a temporary green light from policy leaders in Washington to make the long-term investments necessary to achieve sustained energy security for our country and allies abroad,” he said.