Since oil prices began their dramatic decline last summer, over 150,000 jobs in the oil and gas industry have been cut across the globe, according to a recent report from oil and gas job services company Swift Worldwide Resources.
As reported by Rigzone, the Swift report states that the United States witnessed the “fastest and steepest decline” of oil and gas jobs and that the North Sea offshore market had been “hit hard” as well.
Swift CEO Tobias Read noted that while the job cuts are affecting direct employees, contractors are generally the first to be laid off and aren’t accounted for in typical layoff statistics. In the report, Read said, “The contractor market in the oil and gas sector is a huge silent community which comprises upwards of 100,000 professional-grade workers and similar skills.”
The report found that in international markets controlled by state-owned oil companies, there has been a significant slowdown of new projects, and more layoffs can be expected. Of these markets, Southeast Asia has yet to be hit with substantial layoffs, but shipyards in Korea, China and Singapore are expected to be impacted. The Middle East has continued on a sustainable path, though job creation has slowed. The majority of cuts made by major operators has been in the upstream sector, but many of the cuts have been “done sympathetically through accelerated early retirement programs.”
According to Petro Global News, the continued volatility of oil prices combined with the slide in rig counts has caused oil and gas companies to play it safe and pause hiring plans. A survey conducted by Rigzone showed that 51 percent of hiring managers around the world said they have slowed hiring efforts over the course of the past three months. Another 13 percent of the survey’s participants reported the implementations of hiring freezes during the current quarter.
Additionally, the survey found that 54 percent of hiring managers across the globe believe that additional job cuts within the next six months are likely. Rigzone found that 65 percent of hiring managers surveyed also anticipate headcount budgets to decline throughout the course of the year. However, roughly 70 percent of hiring managers expect the number of voluntary departures to drop in the next six months.
Some job losses, though, are not made public. To account for this in its report, Swift made assumptions based on likely impact. Read said, “Our assumptions remain conservative and the likelihood is that total job losses probably [greatly] exceed Swift’s forecast.”