Stephens County Hit Hard by Energy Sector Layoffs

hallibOKEnergyToday – In exploring Halliburton’s layoff of 5,000 workers announced last week, News 9 reporter Dana Hertneky learned how one county’s jobless rate has soared in the past months. It is Stephens County where Halliburton got its start decades ago. It still has major operations in Duncan but due to layoffs, unemployment in the county has gone from 3.7 percent to 6.5 percent.

The Oklahoma Employment Commission reports the loss of 12,200 jobs last year in the oil and gas industry, which is a decline of 19 percent.

“We’ve seen significant layoffs in 2015 and also continuing into 2016,” said Lynn Gray, Chief Economist with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. “I certainly understand someone expecting the numbers to continue to deteriorate in the first two months of 2016. It wouldn’t shock me if that’s the case.”

But the oil and gas layoffs are affecting manufacturing and industry as well. With less demand for equipment in the oil patch, jobs are being lost in the manufacturing sector. Witness Kimray Inc. which announced the layoff of about 65 workers last week.

“In terms of the decline in oil and gas, it is similar to what we saw in the great recession,” said Gray in the interview with Hertneky.

Watch Dana Hertneky’s report on News 9

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