Black gold drew hundreds of thousands of workers to oilfields in the United States and elsewhere during the shale revolution. Now pink slips are sending many of them packing.
A protracted downturn in energy prices has sharply reversed the fortunes of America's oilfield workers. After years of strong employment gains that outpaced total private sector growth, the energy sector became the biggest job cutter of 2015.
Layoffs by U.S.-based energy companies have hit nearly 93,800 jobs year to date through November, according to data from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That represents a staggering increase of more than 700 percent over the about 11,500 job cuts in the same period last year.