When it comes to getting gasoline cheap, we all might think it is a great thing, but not for the workers who work in the energy field. There have been 51,000 oil workers in the United States that have been laid off due to the significant decrease in oil prices. Last June, oil prices were up to $107 a barrel, but now the oil prices are hanging around $50 a barrel, which is over a 50 percent decrease.
Oil and energy companies in the United States have had to do something to counteract these extremely low oil prices, but unfortunately the workers in these areas are the ones paying the price. American companies have cut 51.747 jobs since last June, and those companies have come out to say it was 100 percent because of the decrease in crude oil prices. Over 47,000 of those jobs that have been cut were cut this year alone, since 2015 has seen a more significant drop in oil prices compared to the fall of 2014. The first few months of this year has caused a 3,900 percent increase in the amount of layoffs compared to just one year ago, and the energy market might be downsizing for good. In 2015, over 30,000 mining jobs have also disappeared, so the damage is being done to many different departments in the energy sector.
Oil operators are getting rid of projects left and right, which means that the workers at the oilfields are usually the first group to get the pink slip. Halliburton is going to cut 6,400 jobs, Baker Hughes cut 7,000 jobs, and Schlumberger is also going to cut 9,000 jobs. There have also been a lot of temporary energy workers who have had to take pay cuts, sometimes up to 15 percent, although some have cut pay down 25 percent. Since 2011, oil and gas extraction had been the biggest boom as far as jobs go, but that is changing rapidly as more energy companies are having to downsize due to the falling oil prices. While it is normal for the market to go up and down as far as energy prices goes, this has been a trend that has been going on for nearly a year, and companies in the United States are really feeling the heat.
The only good news coming out for the energy workers is that the firing and laying off of workers appears to be slowing down a bit, but that doesn’t mean more jobs aren’t on the line. In March there was a 92 percent decrease in the amount of jobs that would be cut in the energy field, however oil prices aren’t going up very much, and that could be a bad sign. If the oil prices continue to either stay where they are or decreases even more, then more companies will be forced to cut the number of employees out there in the field. More companies are going to be reaching out to the older workers and try to buy them out and offer them early retirement plans, which is one way to cut costs without technically cutting jobs. However, a lot of different oil drilling projects are nearly completed during this time of the year, which means that once those jobs are done, there won’t be much work for the rest of the year. If the companies continue to finish these jobs quickly, then it means more people will be out of work. This is because a lot of companies are not starting new drilling projects, since there is no need with the prices how they are, and this means more workers will be out of work for the longer term. Right now it is a waiting game, but a lot of other companies are feeling the heat, and likely will be cutting jobs in the second quarter.