Jobs report: Thousands more oil and gas cuts in September

Weak oil prices continue to hammer an already beleaguered oil and gas workforce in the U.S., with another 8,300 jobs cut in September, according to Labor Department data released Friday.

The oil field services sector has continued to bear most of those losses; the data showed 7,200 fewer jobs in support activity for mining, which includes oil and gas as well as other minerals. Job losses in oil and gas extraction slowed last month, but the sector still saw 1,100 jobs cut.

Overall, the mining industry has 104,700 fewer jobs now than at the same time in 2014.

The U.S. still added 142,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate was steady at 5.1 percent. But pain in the energy industry due to low oil prices may have helped drag down employment growth in the U.S. — a Bloomberg survey expected September to see 201,000 more jobs — with weakness in oil and gas contributing to an overall slowdown in manufacturing and exports. Next to mining, which saw the biggest decline of any industry, manufacturing was second with 9,000 job cuts.

The lob losses reflect instability in the price of U.S. crude, which swung from a six-year low of just under $39 to nearly $49 in the final week of August. Since then, oil prices have slowly fallen off to close at $44.74 on Thursday.

Several oil and gas majors have announced layoffs in recent weeks: Halliburton confirmed Sept. 23 that it would extend layoffs to management positions across North America, and Chesapeake Energy said Sept. 29 that it would cut 15 percent of its workforce.

According to energy recruitment firm Swift Worldwide Resources, more than 200,000 workers in the global oil and gas industry may now have lost their jobs following the collapse in crude prices that began in June 2014.

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