BLS Expects Oil and Gas Industry to Drive US Job Growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has released new projections of job growth through 2026, and the oil and gas sector features prominently. BLS categorizes oil and gas jobs under a broad category of mining, which is projected to experience 1.4 percent growth in employment from 2016 to 2026. The mining job growth projection is the highest among “goods-producing” sectors, which are segments of the economy not included in services, agriculture or the public sector. In total, BLS expects the sector to add 90,800 jobs by 2026.
Within the broad mining sector, BLS foresees “faster-than-average” employment growth “for a number of oil and gas occupations, including roustabouts, service unit operators, rotary drill operators, and derrick operators.” By 2026, BLS expects employment opportunities in all of these jobs by about 25 percent. Across all jobs in the oil and gas industry, BLS expects to see an annual job growth rate of 1.7 percent per year in the same time period.
But the benefits of increasing oil and gas employment are not exclusive to the industry. BLS states that the oil and gas sector’s job growth will “translate to more jobs in occupations related to this industry by 2026.”
These projections are already becoming a reality in the oil and gas industry. NES Global Talent and oilandgasjobsearch.com recently conducted a survey on employment in the industry, and its recently released Oil and Gas Outlook Report confirms that employers expect to be hiring aggressively and raising wages. After surveying 3,000 industry employers, along with 7,000 workers, they found that 60 percent of employers expect to recruit significantly in the next 12 months. NES Global Talent CEO Tig Gilliam said in a statement that expected short-term job growth “is being led by a sharp increase in investment in U.S. shale.”
The NES survey adds to the evidence from business research firm LimeLeads, which in September posted a report on the top 10 fastest growing job sectors in the country, based on a review of BLS monthly job data. Like the BLS, LimeLeads considers oil and gas jobs to be in a broader category it calls “Support Activities for Mining,” and observed that the broad sector added 52,500 jobs from August 2016 to August 2017. LimeLeads called this 20.6 percent growth a “whopping increase” in job opportunities in the sector. BLS data shows that over 30,000 of the 52,500 additional jobs recorded by LimeLeads were in the oil and gas sector.