U.S. oilfield services (OFS) and equipment sector employment reached an estimated 622,309 jobs in April, its highest level since September, the Energy Workforce & Technology Council reported in early May.

“Oil and gas demand has continued to increase, and global demand will continue to rise as more countries cut off imports of Russian energy resources,” said CEO Leslie Beyer.

The Council, which analyzed preliminary U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, said the April OFS job count represents an 8,630 month/month increase.

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OFS employment is on the rise amid mounting supply chain, inflationary, and labor challenges across the U.S. natural gas and oil industry.

Out of the seven OFS categories the Council tracks, the Houston-based trade group reported the biggest monthly gains in oil and gas extraction and support activities.

The April OFS job count is the highest since September, when employment hit 643,057, but still below the pre-pandemic high of 706,528 in February 2020, said the Council.

“It’s encouraging to see job growth increases in the sector,” said Beyer. “We are continuing to make gains from our pandemic lows and 2021 fourth quarter losses.”

The Council reported the top state for April OFS employment – with 303,251, or 49%, of jobs – was Texas, home of much of the increasingly productive Permian Basin

Another hot spot for OFS firms is the gassy Haynesville Shale, which Texas shares with the Number 2 state on the Council’s list: Louisiana, with 51,963 jobs. 

Oklahoma, home of the gassy, liquids-rich Anadarko Basin, was third in the Council’s OFS ranking with 47,358 jobs.

Nine states representing 35% of domestic OFS jobs rounded out the Council’s list for April. They include Colorado, with 25,266 jobs; New Mexico, 23,274; California, 22,777; Pennsylvania, 22,528; North Dakota, 19,354; Wyoming, 14,438; Ohio, 10,330; Alaska, 9,646; and West Virginia, 9,521.

OFS contractors in Canada are also reporting robust activity and projecting strong employment growth.