Does the Oil and Gas Industry Bolster Employment in Texas?

waving colorful national flag of texas state.

If you need a job, consider looking for one in Texas. In 2018, Texas added 391,800 jobs. Of those jobs, 3,300 were added by the mining and logging sector, which includes the oil and gas industry. That means that right now about 17% of all jobs in Texas belong to the oil and gas industry, either directly or indirectly. The recent discoveries of new reserves in the Permian Basin means a need for more workers, but that does not mean the only work available is directly for the industry. Notice I said 17% of jobs in Texas belong to oil and gas directly and INDIRECTLY.

What exactly does working indirectly for the industry mean?

Working indirectly for the industry means working within its supply chain. Oil and natural gas are not mined and disturbed without help. There aren’t people out there digging oil out of the ground with their bare hands, and even if they were, where would they put it? Tupperware?  If Tupperware were an option, someone would have to supply it to them. Boom! Supply chain. 

There are three main categories in the oil and gas industry supply chain:

  1. Equipment manufacturers and suppliers
  2. Equipment renters
  3. Service providers

No matter what the industry is, no matter what the job is, it is nothing without supplies. Bakers need eggs, flour and an oven.  The oil and gas industry needs machinery, steel, pipe coatings, drills, rigs, and especially people who know where to get these things, how to build them and how to keep them running. Storage, logistics and even office workers are needed inside the industry and out.

And of course, those supply chain entities themselves require supply chains. And those who work directly, as well as indirectly, for oil and gas companies have families.  They need teachers, doctors, bankers and retail workers. Between March of 2018 and March of 2019 eleven of Texas’ major industries saw growth. Professional services led the pack, followed by construction, education and health services, financial services, leisure and hospitality services, and mining and logging services, which as I stated above includes the oil and gas industry. 

Dr. M. Ray Perryman of the Perryman Group, a trusted group of economic analysts, said it best, “Texas has developed a deep network of suppliers to the industry, which enhances its importance.” He went on to say, “Our analysis showed gains in more than 400 sectors of the economy (in other words, just about everything).”


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