A Closer Look

What’s going on in the global job market for the mining industry?

Economists estimated that there would be around 245,000 jobs added to the U.S. market, however recent tabulations from the March report indicated that their predictions were too optimistic. Only 126,000 jobs were added last month, and while most industries did their part to offer more employment opportunities, the mining industry had to make further cuts. So far, a total 30,000 people have lost their jobs in the industry according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

The oil crisis has severely affected the U.S. job market, leaving a huge population out of work, even those who technically haven’t lost their jobs yet. For 32-year-old maintenance roustabout Ryan Chennault, it’s been two weeks since he’s been called into work, but this kind of idle time occurs every two years or so. He didn’t report to work for three months in 2009 and two months in 2012, so he’s confident that this is just a cycle.

U.S. mining has suffered great losses from the crash in crude oil prices, but energy sectors in different parts of the world appear to be responding well to this downfall. For instance, take a look at Iraq.

Iraq has become a significant powerhouse of energy in the Middle East, so it was a logical step for many oil and gas companies to expand operations where crude oil production is the second largest in the world. With the increase of production companies in the area, it seemed necessary for oil and gas services firm UnaOil to open a strategic base in North Rumaila to help train both new and tenured industry workers in production processes and equipment use. As long as companies continue to expand in Iraq, a job shortage in the Middle Eastern energy sector is unlikely.

The UK doesn’t seem to be fazed by the oil calamity either. Compared to the U.S. that had to cut 11,000 mining jobs in March, the UK remains hopeful for the industry which can be seen in their creation of 8,000 new oil and gas jobs. UK oil companies demonstrate resilience and attentive to issues such as needs for international expansion and aging workers, and experts wonder whether the U.S. oil and gas industry can make a comeback like this or not. Only time will tell.

*Contributed by an affiliate


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