Texas’ upstream employment figure grew by 2,900 jobs last month to reach 181,100 in September, the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) reported Friday.

texas upstream

The September tally marks the Lone Star State’s fifth consecutive month of upstream job growth since April, TIPRO said. The September 2021 figure marks a year/year gain of 23,600, reflecting increases of 22,000 services sector jobs and 1,600 oil and gas extraction jobs for the period, the organization added.

TIPRO based its findings on the most recent Current Employment Statistics (CES) report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

“Demand for U.S. crude has reached record highs driven by a strong recovery in global demand and continued tightness in supply,” said TIPRO President Ed Longanecker.

Another statewide industry association applauding the job gains was the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA).

“The resilience of the oil and natural gas industry is evident given that upstream jobs are up by 23,600, or 15%, in just one year since the low point in September 2020,” said TXOGA President Todd Staples. “These jobs are not only among the highest-paying jobs in Texas, these workers also play a direct role in our nation’s energy security and our pursuit of a cleaner, stronger, better future.”

Citing an analysis that it conducted with the American Petroleum Institute, TXOGA said that every direct oil and gas job in Texas generates another three jobs elsewhere in the state’s economy.

Where the Jobs Are

TIPRO also reported strong September job posting data for the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas industry sectors. 

In its September workforce analysis, also released Friday, the Austin-based trade association observed 58,407 total Texas oil and gas industry job postings for the period — 8,703 of which were unique. That equates to a 7-to-1 posting intensity, meaning that for every seven postings there was one unique job posting, TIPRO explained. 

Furthermore, the organization stated the 7-to-1 metric approaches the 6-to-1 posting intensity for all other occupations and companies in the region – indicating that companies are putting average effort toward hiring for these positions.

The Petroleum Refineries sector showed the highest number of unique September job postings (1,654) among the 14 industry sectors TIPRO tracks, with Crude Petroleum Extraction (1,604) and Oil and Gas Field Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing (1,359) taking the second and third spots, respectively. The top three Texas cities based on number of unique job postings last month were Houston (3,070), Midland (477) and Odessa (473).

TIPRO also stated the leading companies for September based on unique job postings include Halliburton Co. (669), Baker Hughes Co. (601) and National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (590). Additionally, the trade group pointed out the top posted occupations for the period were maintenance and repair workers (414), heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers (389) and retail salespersons (365).

How to Sustain Employment Growth

Besides highlighting encouraging employment figures, TIPRO cautioned Congress against adopting “a myriad of restrictive domestic oil and natural gas policies” that it contends would further hike gasoline and utility bills as well as other goods and services prices already on the rise. 

The association noted it is particularly concerned by a “disastrous national energy tax” in the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package Congress is considering. It maintains the tax would hurt small energy producers as well as U.S. taxpayers.

“After months of advancing policies designed to limit domestic production, the White House blames OPEC for not increasing supply more as demand has rebounded,” said Longanecker. “The lack of a coherent energy strategy for the U.S. will continue to have very real consequences for American families struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table.

“Instead of suppressing our industry and begging foreign adversaries to raise oil output, domestic producers should be encouraged to responsibly develop our resources here to help stabilize prices.”

Staples also urged policymakers to incentivize stateside oil and gas producers.

“We need policies that encourage continued domestic production to meet increased demand here and around the globe,” he said. “More production means more jobs and more economic opportunities for Texans.”