More significant layoffs in the oil industry as Halliburton confirms they are cutting 5,000 employees companywide.
“Due to ongoing market conditions, Halliburton is further reducing its global workforce by approximately eight percent or about 5,000 positions,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.
“We regret having to make this decision, but unfortunately we are faced with the difficult reality that reductions are necessary to work through this challenging market environment.”
The company won't say how many people in Oklahoma they are laying off. But folks at the Oklahoma unemployment commission say their Duncan office, where Halliburton is located, has been very busy the last couple days with folks seeking unemployment benefits.
The layoffs are adding to another already bleak picture here in the state.
“We’ve seen significant layoffs in 2015 and also continuing into 2016,” said Lynn Gray the Chief economist with the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission.
Last year the Oklahoma Employment Commission saw 12,200 jobs lost in the oil and gas industry, a 19% decline. And the numbers aren't in yet for January and February which would include the recent Halliburton Layoffs as well as Devon.
“I certainly understand someone expecting the numbers continue to deteriorate in the first two months of 2016. It wouldn’t shock me if that’s the case,” said Gray.
Related industries like transportation and manufacturing are also seeing decreases yet the situation is nowhere near the dramatic losses the industry saw in the 80’s.
“In terms of the decline in oil and gas it is similar to what we saw in the great recession,” said Gray.
Reports show the layoffs at Halliburton since 2014 will reach nearly 26,000 employees. The company won't say how many of those job losses have been in Oklahoma, but in Stephens County the unemployment rate has climbed from 3.7% to 6.5%.
Gray says there has been job growth in other sectors like construction, retail and food hospitality but he expects those to decline as well as these job losses ripple throughout the economy.