US oil, gas industry employment up 40% during 2007-12

The US oil and natural gas industry increased by more than 162,000 jobs—a 40% increase—from the start of 2007 through yearend 2012, according to a recent report from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the same period, the increase of total US private sector employment amounted to more than 1 million jobs, or about a 1% rise.

DOL’s BLS accounted for oil and gas industry employment in three categories: drilling, extraction, and support. Within the drilling category, which includes employment engaged in spudding, drilling, and reworking wells, there were more than 90,000 jobs by the end of 2012, up by more than 6,600 jobs from 2007.

Employment in extraction, which involves operating, developing, and producing oil and gas fields including exploration and all production work up to the point of shipment from the producing property, increased by more than 53,000 jobs over the reported period and amounted to more than 193,000 jobs at yearend 2012.

Being the largest employment grouping, jobs within the category accounted for the bulk of the increase in the oil and gas employment, totaling more than 286,000 jobs yearend 2012, an increase of 102,000 jobs since 2007. Support includes performing supporting activities for oil and gas operations, including exploration, excavation, well surveying, casing work, and well construction.

The combined employment of the three categories equals just one half of one percent of total US private sector employment, according to BLS.

“Both the support and drilling industries were heavily affected by the recession, but these industries have recovered quickly, suffering only minor effects from the temporary moratorium on offshore drilling as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010,” BLS said, adding, “Employment in the oil and gas drilling, extraction, and support industries continues to contribute to overall private sector employment as the US economy recovers from the 2007-09 recession.”

Output and employment in other domestic sectors, such as suppliers of pipe, drilling equipment, and other drilling materials, also benefit from the prosperity of oil and gas industry activity. Higher oil and gas industry and employee expenditures also help to stimulate local economic and employment growth.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

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