Falling Oil Prices Cost Jobs, Spell Boon Times Elsewhere

The falling price of oil, now at under $50 a barrel for the first time since 2009, has caused a spate of layoff announcements impacting thousands of workers in oil-related industries, according to a tally recorded by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Since June 2014, Challenger has tracked 21,917 US job cuts by oil and oil-related industries. Most recently, oil field services giant Schlumberger announced 9,000 job cuts and Baker Hughes reported 7,000. Last month, 1,000 job cuts were announce by Halliburton. Meanwhile, a division of US Steel that manufactures oil and natural gas pipes announced plans to cut 756 jobs. ConocoPhillips and Apache Corp. also reported job cuts in January. “While falling oil prices will generate job losses for many companies in this field, others will benefit greatly from less expensive oil. Delta Airlines, for instance, just reported stronger financial results in part to the lower cost of oil,” noted John A. Challenger, CEO of global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “Other airlines will no doubt profit from lower oil costs, as will consumers, plastics manufacturers, and automakers, which could benefit from car buyers considering less fuel-efficient SUVs.” Who wins and loses with low oil prices? Will the low price of oil help create jobs in certain industries or lead to job stagnation?