Oilfield service jobs rise in December, bucking slowdown in U.S. hiring

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A drilling rig operates in the Permian Basin oil and natural gas production area in Lea County, New Mexico, U.S., February 10, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford/File Photo

Jan 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. oilfield services and equipment sector added 7,450 jobs in December, even as overall hiring in the United States slowed, according to a report released on Monday by the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, an industry trade group.

The sector has regained some 62,289 jobs since shedding a peak of roughly 109,000 jobs in February of 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the report said. The pandemic-related losses have resulted in about $5.6 billion in lost annual wages, according to the Council.

U.S. oil prices are up about 50% from a year ago, trading around $78.59 a barrel on Monday . The oil and gas rig count was at 588 in the week to Jan. 7, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes , the highest since April 2020.

Texas, the largest U.S. oil producing state, has added nearly 22,000 oilfield jobs in the past year, bringing its total to roughly 321,300, according to the Council. That is followed by Louisiana, which added 3,757 such jobs to bring its total employment to 51,300.

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Reporting by Liz Hampton in Denver Editing by Paul Simao

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