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Image courtesy of Hays Oil and Gas.

Hiring in the oil and gas industry went down slightly during the third quarter but held onto most of gains seen earlier this year, according to a new report by Hays Oil & Gas.

Hays, a global recruiting firm for the energy industry, said that despite about a half percentage point drop in job openings the number of new job advertisements in the third quarter of 2014 still beat 2013 levels.

“After a peak in Q2, the job index has stabilized and remains above 2013 levels at the end of the third quarter,” Hays said.

The impact of slumping oil prices and slowdowns in activity have not hit the company’s job index yet.

“Given the pessimism that has grown in certain areas of the industry, we expect hiring activity, on average, to lessen in the coming months although some markets and skill areas will remain strong,” the report said.

U.S. field based hiring has kept pace with the surge in unconventional drilling activity.

However, Hays said it has seen a “cooling” in U.S. hiring by services companies.

The western sanctions against Russia have also impacted job openings.

While demand for skilled western engineers remains high difficulties in securing visas and restrictions imposed by the sanctions have led Russian companies to focus their hiring efforts in Asia.

Hays said that many employers in Russia are putting hiring plans on hold until the sanctions are either eased back or lifted.

Low oil prices and political shifts in major oil and gas producing regions in the Middle East and Russia are expected to slow oil and gas hiring down in the fourth quarter.