Thursday, March 24, 2016

Oil and gas bust has cost 21,000 industry jobs, 133,000 supporting jobs since late 2014

After years of boom, the oil bust has decreased the number of oil rigs in operation in the U.S. to 476 today, down from 1,931 in September 2014, a 75 percent decrease, Jonathan Thompson reports for High Country News. The oil bust has hit some states hard. In the past year North Dakota has lost nearly 20,000 jobs, most of them in oil, gas and construction. Wyoming has seen its unemployment rate jump from 4.4 percent in February 2015 to 5.6 percent in February 2016, with the biggest jumps in fossil fuel hot spots. (High Country news graphic)
"Nationally, the oil and gas extraction sector alone has shed some 21,000 jobs since late 2014, and the 'support activities for mining' sector has lost 133,000 jobs," Thompson writes. "A recent analysis by the Brookings Institute predicts 'much worse employment carnage in energy states' to come. (Brookings graphic)
"During the last quarter of 2015, all the major Western energy-producing states saw significant decreases in severance tax revenues, levied on the value of produced oil and gas and minerals, compared to the previous year," Thompson writes. "North Dakota took in $400 million less—in just one quarter—than it did in the final quarter of 2014. As a result of these losses, four of these states saw total tax collections decrease, as well (Utah was the exception), despite the fact that nationally, state tax collections were up. While motor fuel sales taxes increased for every state, thanks to low gas prices, it wasn't enough to offset the other tax losses."

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