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Oil Companies Report Strong Labor Market Amid Drilling Increases

A quarterly survey of oil executives points to “rapid growth” in employment.

Oil companies in Texas are reporting a strong labor market, with hiring up and workers getting more hours.

A majority of executives surveyed recently by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas say they’re not having trouble hiring. Those that are having trouble say they can’t find enough workers, or enough workers with applicable experience and skill sets.

“This is very consistent with the past, where, as firms ramp up production, there’s generally an increase in demand for workers from the oilfield services side,” said Kunal Patel, Senior Research Analyst at the Dallas Fed. “These are the guys that go out in the field, they drill the wells, once that’s done they frack the wells.”

According to Patel, most job demand in the oil and gas sector since early 2017 has come from oilfield service companies.

Executives who responded to the survey say their biggest challenge at the moment is not having enough pipelines to move all the new oil they’re producing. Analysts expect a handful of new pipelines currently in the works will ease that “bottleneck” over the next couple years, but it could stunt the industry’s growth in the short-term.

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