Oilfield Services and Equipment Sector Job Losses Near 100,000

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July, however, the Oilfield Services and Equipment Employment Report compiled and published by the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association (PESA), found that employment in the oilfield services and equipment (OFS) sector fell by more than 9300 jobs in July.

The monthly report from PESA shows total job losses due to pandemic-related demand destruction have reached 99,253. OFS employment is down more than 118,000 jobs since July 2019 and is at its lowest point since March 2017.

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 764,189 in February to 664,936 in July, a 13% decline. The greatest losses were in April, some 59,306 jobs—the largest one-month total since at least 2013.
OFS employment year-over-year fell from 785,106 jobs in June 2019 to 664,936 in 2020, a decline of 15.1%. The jobs lost represent annual wages of approximately $12.7 billion.

Job losses in this sector accelerated from 6524 in June to 9344 in July as COVID-19 cases surged across the country. Industry analysts anticipate additional job losses as the pandemic continues and jobs supported by emergency measures such as the Paycheck Protection Program are threatened by congressional inaction. Additionally, rising infection rates may depress economic activity as communities resume quarantines.

PESA analysis of Small Business Administration data found that approximately 180,000 OFS jobs have been supported by loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.
According to PESA’s analysis, the following states have lost 4000 or more OFS jobs in 2020: Texas 59,200 jobs; Louisiana 10,200; Oklahoma 9200; Colorado 5000; New Mexico 4500; California 4500; and Pennsylvania 4400.

PESA is the trade association representing the OFS sector, which includes companies involved in oilfield equipment manufacturing, drilling, well completions, pressure pumping and more. OFS employment was 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. (BLS data is preliminary for the two most recent months.)

For additional information or questions about the report, contact lead researcher and PESA director of communications and research Kevin Broom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
PESA works to advance member policy priorities and provide targeted workforce development for the OFS sector.

SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, August 13, 2020. Weekly Propane Newsletter subscribers receive all the latest posted and spot prices from major terminals and refineries around the U.S. delivered to inboxes every week. Receive a center spread of posted prices with hundreds of postings updated each week, along with market analysis, insightful commentary, and much more not found elsewhere.