Oilfield services sector added 23,000 jobs in March: industry report

FILE PHOTO: Oilfield equipment is parked at a Basic Energy Services site, as oil and gas activity dips in the Eagle Ford Shale oil field due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the drop in demand for oil globally, in Karnes County, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Hiller

(Reuters) - The U.S. oilfield services and equipment sector added an estimated 23,000 jobs in March, marking a 3.8% increase, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and an analysis by the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, a trade group.

Jobs in the sector are still down 9.2% from March 2020, according to the council.

The oilfield services and equipment industry was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic as lockdowns crushed fuel demand, prompting oil producers to slash spending and reduce activity.

Some 102,000 oilfield jobs were lost as a result of the pandemic, according to estimates by the Council. Roughly 57,000 jobs were lost in April 2020, the largest one-month total since 2013.

Reporting by Liz Hampton; Editing by Leslie Adler