How to ‘hunt’ for energy jobs in the oilpatch
Posted On July 14, 2021
The oilpatch has a problem.
For the last decade, we’ve seen an exponential rise in oil and gas jobs.
The jobless rate for Americans with a high school degree or less has increased from around 4.2% in 2010 to over 12% in 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s up from just under 2% in 1990.
So why is it that more jobs are available in the Oil and Gas Sector than anywhere else?
The number of oil and natural gas jobs in 2017 surpassed all but five other sectors of the economy.
Oil and gas accounted for over a third of all the jobs in America.
The rest were found in manufacturing, construction, and mining.
What’s more, the oil and oil and energy industry is experiencing a renaissance in recent years.
It’s a boom that’s also being powered by new technologies like drones and autonomous vehicles.
The US economy is in a much better position to take advantage of these new jobs than it was a few decades ago, says Robert Lighthizer, managing director of the Economic Policy Institute.
“The economy has recovered much more quickly than it would have had to have done this sort of boom,” Lighthizers said.
Lighthizer says that the US oil and mining sector has seen job growth over the last two decades and is now the most productive in the world.
The sector has also become more competitive, with oil companies increasingly seeking out workers from all over the world to fill their vacancies.
It’s a trend that’s helped create a more diverse and productive workforce than ever before, he says.
But there’s one key problem with the Oil & Gas sector that has made it harder for Americans to find work.
They’re not paid enough The oil and fossil fuel industry has a long history of underpaying workers.
In the 1980s, oil workers in Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado were paid an average of $11.50 an hour.
Today, they average $12.25.
In 2017, the average hourly wage in Texas was just $8.70, according the Texas Office of Labor Relations.
And in 2018, the state of Colorado was forced to raise its minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.50.
If you’re not earning enough money to cover basic living expenses, you can get laid off or fired.
More recently, there’s been an explosion of new tech companies that are seeking to fill this void, said Lighthiser.
At the heart of the problem, he said, is that oil and coal companies are underpaid.
Instead of taking on the cost of building new pipelines and trains to transport their crude oil, oil and power companies are turning to outsourcing their work to smaller companies that pay less than they would on a traditional pipeline.
This has created a massive opportunity for oil and chemical companies to undercut and undercut workers, Lighthisers said.
“There’s this whole idea that they’re going to bring these workers in and make them work for less than the industry standard,” Lighthouse said.
“And the reality is, that’s just not true.”
That doesn’t mean we can’t compete with oil andgas companies for jobs, however.
We just need to start by paying them a decent wage and giving them the opportunities they deserve, he added.
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