PERMIAN BASIN – The latest shale drilling boom is driving unemployment to the lowest levels in years in many of the areas that encompass the Permian Basin.
The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission examined the workforce in February 2018 in the region and found that its unemployment rate is at 2.9 percent.
Nearly every county in the 17-county region (including Texas and New Mexico) has unemployment rates below the state’s averages.
The downside to the Permian’s boom: acute labor shortages.
Nearly all of the workers who want jobs in the Permian’s counties are employed.
As oil production rises, companies need even more workers, but fewer people are looking for oil industry jobs, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
As labor remains in short supply, companies are going further to find workers and paying them more, and in turn increasing production costs and shrinking profit margins.
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