Improving economy bodes well for energy job market

As members of the energy staffing industry, we are always watching what different employment markets are doing.  When we hear of large corporations making announcements which will affect growth, or when we hear that companies are rehiring workers who were previously laid-off, then that gives us a sense of confidence for the future of the economy as a whole, and specifically for the oil and gas industry.  After all, our industry provides the energy that drives new growth! 

Recently, for example, Target announced plans to open 21 new stores in 2011. Alcoa, a large aluminum manufacturing company, announced activities that will lead to creating an additional 260 new jobs to an industry heavily affected by demand in manufacturing. Ford Motor Company will add more than 7,000 new jobs in 2011 and 2012, and GM and Chrysler announced that they plan to hire 1,000 new engineers and researchers. Signs of revival at large companies will signal their supplier and sub-suppliers to increase capacities.

Our economy is showing promise that it can sustain and support additional jobs at higher wages, and that it will fuel additional production and demand along the way. This bodes well for the oil and gas industry which needs good news after a “year interrupted.”  Our practice has seen an increase of activity in a number of areas:

  • Risk management experts who can lend decision support in an environment of uncertainty
  • Regulatory professionals who can help prepare operating companies for what will be an avalanche of new and changed regulations both on the state and the federal level
  • Safety experts to design, implement, and manage safety processes to prevent future accidents and to help prepare for new rules to be implemented for the offshore and onshore industry sectors and
  • Production and completions experts who will help a company to get the maximum value from already existing oil and gas production operations. 

There is tremendous job potential out there for the oil and gas industry. With new frontiers and the price of oil in positive territories, there will be ample opportunities.

Gas is another story. Prices are lower, and demand is not in sync with drastically rising inventories in this country. Successes in the shale plays around the U.S. have been a blessing, but they have also raised questions about new viable gas markets. Yes, predictions show that the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania alone could add up to 280,000 new jobs over the next decade. That is provided that we have markets to use all the gas that will be produced. We will talk about the lack of new gas markets here another time.

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