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September Jobs Report: Sector Employment Inches Up for 7th Straight Month

Employment in the U.S. energy technology and services sector rose by an estimated 1,914 jobs in September, a seventh straight month of growth, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and analysis by the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. 

While sector employment edged higher, the rate of growth dropped to 0.3%, reflecting sluggish employment growth across the nation’s economic sectors due to a persistent shortage of workers and the Delta variant. It was a third consecutive month of declining growth in the sector. The energy services and technology sector has added nearly 44,000 jobs over the past seven months after hitting a pandemic low of 597,067 jobs in February, according to BLS data.

Sector employment has grown at an average monthly rate of 0.5% in 2021 as companies have maintained focus on reducing debt, repaying investors and investing in research and development. In addition, elevated COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant have increased uncertainty for demand and production forecasts. Employment in the sector is down 9.5% since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

The monthly Energy Technology & Services Employment Report, compiled and published by the Council, estimates a peak of more than 109,000 pandemic-related job losses. Since then, the sector has restored approximately 43,900 positions, bringing total pandemic employment losses to 62,000 jobs.

Using BLS data, the Council, in consultation with researchers from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, found that reductions were heaviest in April 2020, when the sector shed 57,294 jobs — the largest one-month total since at least 2013. 

Below are the top states for employment in the energy technology and services sector, and estimated job gains in September 2021 compared to the same month in 2020, according to BLS data:

  1. Texas — 315,600, +18,480 jobs
  2. Louisiana  — 54,100, +3,170 
  3. Oklahoma  — 49,280, +2,890
  4. Colorado  — 26,290, +1,540
  5. New Mexico  — 24,220, +1,420 
  6. California  — 23,700, +1,390
  7. Pennsylvania  — 23,440, +1,370
  8. North Dakota  — 20,140, +1,180
  9. Wyoming  — 15,030, +880
  10. Ohio  — 10,750, +630
  11. Alaska  — 10,040, +590
  12. West Virginia  — 9,910, +580

Energy technology and services sector employment is estimated by analyzing data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and covers the economic activities of energy technology and services companies, which include oil and gas extraction, construction and manufacturing. Total employment is estimated using the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, published by BLS, and jobs data reported by BLS monthly.

Note: BLS data is preliminary for the two most recent months and is subject to revision. The Council incorporates monthly totals according to BLS corrections, and updates the statistical model quarterly.

For additional information or questions about the report, contact Council Director of Communications and Research Kevin Broom

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