The energy sector has been one of the few bright spots for job growth in the U.S., particularly in Texas, which is often called the unofficial energy capital of the world. But now the oil price crash is forcing some energy firms in Texas to lay off thousands. CCTV America’s Ginger Vaughn reported this story from Houston.
Oil price crash forces thousands of layoffs at energy companiesThe energy sector has been one of the few bright spots for job growth in the U.S., particularly in Texas, which is often called the unofficial energy capital of the world. But now the oil price crash is forcing some energy firms in Texas to lay off thousands. CCTV America's Ginger Vaughn reported this story from Houston.
Bethina Campbell, a college junior at the University of Houston, said she’s still optimistic about getting a job with an energy firm, but relieved she’s not graduating this year.
“I have friends who had internships in the summer lined up with big oil companies, and unfortunately they are getting their internships taken away from them, because big oil companies do not need as many,” she said.
Campbell is an accounting major, specializing in energy law, which puts her on track to make a lot of money. The global average salary in the oil and gas industry was more than $81,000 in 2013. In Texas, it was $108,000 — making the energy sector one of the highest paying in the world.
But hiring has gotten a lot tougher. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil has dropped by more than half since June 2014. Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Baker Hughes, announced they would cut 9,000 jobs worldwide. Goldman Sachs also said layoffs could reach 60,000-70,000.
When it comes to landing an entry level job, new college graduates might want to look beyond the energy sector. Some schools also suggested students pursue advanced degrees or explore internships and employment opportunities.
“There are other industries that are doing very well and you can still get a job in your field, it may not be in the energy industry this year, but if you build your skills in your field, you can move to the energy industry later when things pickup,” Assistant Dean Jamie Belline from Bauer Business College of University of Houston said.
Belline, who teaches career development, said energy firms that used to do a lot of hiring are going to fill positions from candidate pools they already have, instead of new graduates.
“I would still be nervous if I was a graduating senior, but I have a year and a half before I have to worry about that,” Campbell said.
Joe Brusuelas of McGladrey discusses US jobs outlook
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