Layoffs in the oil and gas sector are now clearly weighing on overall employment in the top-tier energy-producing states. Our pic-of-the-week illustrates the sharp slowdown in job growth in the energy states relative to the non-energy states in just the past six months. In sharp contrast to the strong labor market conditions enjoyed in most other states,
Yes, those states with the highest education levels do tend to have the highest average incomes. In fact, the relationship is remarkably strong and consistent across the 50 states. Our pic-of-the-week shows the relationship between per capita income and the average number of years of schooling across the states in 2013. As you might suspect, the traditional high income (e.g. MA, CT, MN, CO, NJ, MD) and low income (e.g. WV, MS, AR, KY, AL) states generally have education levels to match.
Is the U.S. the only major crude producer with large production gains that are driving crude prices? The short answer is, yes. Since early 2009, more than half of the net gain in worldwide petroleum production is attributable solely to domestic U.S. gains. As our pic of the week shows, total worldwide petroleum production – which includes crude oil, liquids, condensate, and refined petroleum products – is up about 10 million barrels per day since early 2009. The U.S. accounts for nearly 6 million barrels of the gain.
Oil is trying hard to bottom near $50/barrel, but inventory build-ups keep getting in the way. Our pic-of-the-week shows weekly commercial crude oil inventories in the U.S. and they keep getting larger and larger. Crude in storage managed to post an all-time high of 425.6 million barrels last week. Not only does this extend the uptrend but it also represents a bounce well above the trend.
Which energy states are seeing the steepest losses in rig counts? The U.S. rig count peaked in November 2014 at about 1,930 rigs but has quickly dropped to only 1,676 rigs (a 13.2% decline) in just eight short weeks. So far, Texas is taking the brunt of the fall. Of the 253 rigs cut nationally, 139 were land-based rigs operating in Texas, a 15.4% decline. Across all other states and offshore combined, only 113 rigs have been cut.