Lower Gas Prices Impact Oklahoma Jobs
OKLAHOMA CITY - Prices at the pump dropped even lower this week as the cost of crude oil continues to fall.
Drivers may be loving it, but the oil and gas industry is a huge part of our local economy and that has many people fearing for their jobs.
AAA Oklahoma reported gas prices are basically half of what they were six months ago.
Oklahoma pump prices have plummeted for 69 consecutive days from their high point in 2014.
Drivers love it, but people like Jonathon Hatcher hate it. “I was like angry and sad all at once,” said Hatcher.
Hatcher worked for an oil field service company and just got laid off this week.
“If there's no wells to drill and there's nothing to frack, then that means I don't have a job,” Hatcher said. “I understand, but it doesn't make me feel better because I'm the one without the job,” he added.
News 9 heard from more Oklahomans online who fear their families are next.
Marty wrote, "My husband is a manager for an oil field service company and he, along with all salaried employees, is taking a 5% pay decrease to try to keep from letting anyone go."
Kasha said, "My husband works in the oilfield...I love the gas prices, but the worry about if we're gonna be hurting to feed our family or put diapers on the baby is a constant fear."
Machelle shared that, "As an oilfield wife in a previously booming oilfield town, I can tell you things are tense right now!"
Industry analysts said this situation is the great catch 22 for Oklahoma, finding a happy medium where oil and gas companies can grow, but gas prices at the pump are still affordable for families.
Travis suggested, "Keep the gas prices around $2 or a little more so we all can survive."
“I just think that it has a bigger effect on the economy that people don't realize,” Hatcher told News 9.
Hatcher said his former employer told him to watch gas prices and if they go back up, chances are they will be hiring again.
According to AAA Oklahoma, the average price at the pump this year will probably stay below $2.70 per gallon in the state.