US Oil and Gas jobs are forecasted to total 1.09 million in 2027 as prices rebound – with industry investment soaring, companies in the sector could struggle to source the labor they need.

Employment in the US Oil and Gas industry is set to rebound in the coming years and surpass pre-Covid levels, data indicates.

Research by Rystad Energy concluded that US Oil and Gas employment is set to expand by 12.5% this year, rising from around 863,000 to 971,000 jobs by the end of 2022 1

In five years’ time, it is expected that there will be more Oil and Gas industry jobs in the US than there were in 2019, prior to the pandemic.

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Much-needed boost

The Rystad research predicts that the total number of US & Oil and Gas industry jobs will hit 1.09 million in 2027, a marginal increase on the 1.07 million jobs in the sector pre-Covid.

The forecast represents a much-needed boost for the sector, which suffered greatly in 2020 due to falling oil demand and plummeting oil prices.

As a result of such headwinds, Rystad says the US Oil and Gas industry lost almost 200,000 jobs during the pandemic, which equated to roughly 20 percent of the total workforce.

What drove the jobs recovery?

The good news is that Rystad Energy says that almost half of the jobs lost during the pandemic have now been recovered.

The recovery has been attributed to a rapid rise in oil prices, a “better-than-expected” recovery in demand and supply constraints caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

midstream oil and gas worker checking valve

How an oil price rebound sparked jobs growth

However, the primary growth factor behind the steady job gains is the oil price rebound, which is expected to motivate US operators to ramp up investments to more than $90 billion annually by 2027, representing a growth of nearly 40% compared to the lows of 2020, according to Rystad.

Rystad expects the US oil and gas industry to add nearly 120,000 jobs between 2022 and 2027, meaning a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.3%, which is what will take total employment above pre-pandemic levels.

This employment forecast is based on Rystad Energy’s ‘oil price scenario’ in which WTI [West Texas Intermediate] oil price averages $106 per barrel this year, $70 per barrel in 2023 and $50 per barrel around 2025.

Why competition for Oil & Gas workers will be intense

With the US Oil & Gas employment set to grow significantly in the coming years, competition for workers will be fierce.

And the competition was exacerbated earlier this year by the US government calling on Oil and Gas producers to boost supply to offset the effect of lost Russian oil following the invasion of Ukraine 2

Will skilled workers return?

However, there are concerns that skilled workers who left the sector during the downturn of 2020 will not return to the sector even though production is being ramped up. Some industry analysts report that exploration and production companies – as well as service companies – are discovering that labor shortages are proving to be an obstacle to meeting production growth targets 3

There have also been warnings that labor market constraints will mean operators may be forced to slow down production growth because they cannot find workers.

How to find the right candidates

Leveraging a high-quality workforce partner will enable you to get connected with the Oil & Gas workers you need when and where you need them. Have your partner analyze your specific requirements and identify the best candidates. Your partner should also create a pool of backup candidates to ensure your project is always fully staffed.

Learn more

Workrise can help with training, staffing, and professional services so you can get back to focusing on what you do best. Get started by learning more about what we do in Upstream and Midstream Oil & Gas.

  1. Rystad Energy
  2. Reuters
  3. Oil and Gas Investor