No Surprise—Texas Leads Nation in Oil and Gas Job Growth

While Texas led the nation last year in energy job growth to the tune of 19,000 new private sector jobs in oil and natural gas production, Oklahoma was in the top ten states with what the federal government calls ‘significant contributions’, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

In this week’s announcement, the EIA noted that over the past ten years, the growth of jobs in oil and natural gas extraction, drilling and support activities has outpaced the national average of private sector job gains. Nationally, oil and natural gas production jobs in the U.S. increased from 292,846 annual jobs in 2003 to 476,345 in 2008 which is a 63 percent increase. But after the net loss of 54,323 energy jobs in the 2008-09 recession, jobs in oil and naltural gas production increased another 28 percent from 2009 to 2013 moving from 422,033 to 586,884.

And the average wages of those oil and natural gas production jobs were $108,000 in 2013. That’s more than twice the average wage for all private sector industries. And since 2009, the average wages from the oilfield jobs have increased by 12 percent compared with a 10 percent increase for all private sector industries.

Most of that job growth took place in Texas with contributions from Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Dakota, according to the EIA. In 2013, the three states were among the top states for growth in gross state product and in the mining sector. Oklahoma’s job growth was in the top ten and according to the EIA, rose from about 26,000 jobs in 2003 to nearly 60,000 in 2013.

The growth went hand-in-hand with the growth of the nation’s oil and gas plays. Texas has the Eagle Ford, the most prolific oil-producing play. Oklahoma has its smaller plays but nothing compared to the Eagle Ford or the Bakken formation in North Dakota. Then New Mexico has the Permian Basin, Pennsylvania has the Marcellus region and Colorado and Wyoming share the oil and natural gas-producing Niobrara formation.