Oil and gas jobs have grown 40 percent since 2007

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Jobs in the oil and gas sector have grown 40 percent in the last five years, helping to counteract the tepid one percent increase in total U.S. employment.

The oil and natural gas industry created more than 162,000 jobs from 2007 to 2012 in drilling, extraction and support services, according to a report by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday.

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These new jobs helped build up the ranks of the more than 971,000 people working in the industry in the U.S., including about 379,800 in Texas, according to an April report by The Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association.

Oil and gas jobs make up just one-half of one percent of private sector employment, but have created a host of new opportunities, especially in Texas and North Dakota, as the shale boom continues. Texas now produces more than 74 million barrels of crude a month, about a third of all US production.

While the recession and the moratorium had a temporary impact on oil and gas jobs, the dramatic increase of oil and gas production created the need for additional employees. Monthly crude oil production increased 39 percent and natural gas production increased 25 percent during the five year time period, according to the Energy Information Administration.

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