America’s oilfield services and equipment sector employment rose slightly for a third month, adding an estimated 2,665 jobs in November, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and analysis by the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA).
BLS revisions showed the sector gained 1,498 jobs in September and added 5,091 jobs in October. OFS sector employment has increased by approximately 9,254 jobs over the past three months, according to preliminary BLS data, after losing 100,934 due to the pandemic.
Estimated job losses due to pandemic-related demand destruction now total 91,680. OFS employment is down 81,610 jobs since November 2019.
Using BLS data, PESA, in consultation with researchers from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, estimates OFS sector jobs in the U.S. dropped from 757,516 in February to 665,836 in November, a decline of 12.1%. Losses were heaviest in April, totaling 58,738 jobs — the largest one-month total since at least 2013.
OFS employment year-over-year fell from 747,446 jobs in November 2019 to 665,836 in 2020, a decline of 10.9%. The jobs lost represent annual wages of approximately $10.3 billion.
Job losses were heaviest among companies providing support services for oil and gas extraction. This portion of the OFS sector has cut 77,810 jobs during the pandemic — 85% of the sector’s total job losses.
OFS sector employment rose 0.4% in November as companies sought to balance increasing oil and gas production with the uncertainty caused by the surge in COVID-19 cases, which are causing renewed lockdowns and reduced demand.
OFS employment is estimated by analyzing data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and covers the economic activities of OFS 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. PESA updates its monthly totals according to BLS corrections, and updates the statistical model quarterly.
For additional information or questions about the report, contact lead researcher and PESA Director of Communications and Research Kevin Broom.