Oil Workers Lack Job Security as Industry Recovers, Survey Says

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Oil’s global workforce is showing signs of stress just as the industry begins to claw its way back from the worst-ever crude crash.

More than three-fourths of surveyed oilfield employees report feeling less secure in their jobs compared to a year ago and would consider switching to another line of work in the next few years. That’s according to the latest Global Energy Talent Index released by recruiting firms Airswift and Energy Jobline. It’s the first time in the five-year history of the survey that people felt less secure in their jobs, Janette Marx, chief executive officer at Airswift, said in a phone interview.

“It really highlights the uncertainty in the overall market right now,” Marx said. “In the here and now, they’re feeling very insecure, but they’ve got a little bit of a light hope for the future.”

The oil industry is beginning to recover from the dual effects of last year’s oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia along with the global pandemic that sapped demand. Oil prices in the U.S. have recovered to roughly $50 a barrel, allowing service companies to hire workers back last month at the fastest clip since the pandemic emerged. The U.S. oil-services workforce remains 13% below last year’s levels.

More than half of respondents said the “new normal” in oil and gas around the world will be for reduced headcount and less international travel.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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