Pennsylvania lost just over a third of its oil and gas jobs in the second quarter compared to the same period last year.

According to state data seen by WESA, the state’s oil and gas industry directly employed 19,623 people in the second quarter of 2016, down from 28,926 people in the second quarter of 2015.

Those job losses mark a 32 percent year-over-year decline.

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry found that an estimated 52,531 people in Pennsylvania are employed either in natural gas extraction development, by suppliers to the industry, or at companies that provide goods and services to the industry’s employees as of the second quarter.

That figure is down from 72,675 people employed in those sectors during the same period last year, WESA said.

The department also found that the direct employment in natural gas development grew from 9,017 to 19,623 over the past nine years of the Marcellus boom.

That headcount boost created an additional estimated 6,284 jobs at suppliers and 9,839 jobs at companies that provide goods and services to the industry’s employees.

The job losses in Pennsylvania are in line with broader job loss trends seen earlier this year.

A report published the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) earlier this year that  oil and natural gas production employment has declined 26 percent since peaking in late 2014.

The number of U.S. oil and natural gas production jobs fell by more than 142,000 jobs through May 2016, down from a peak of 538,000 jobs in October 2014.

According to Baker Hughes, the Marcellus shale area currently has 39 active rigs compared to 41 rigs a year ago.

Despite the rig count dip, the EIA expects natural gas production in the Marcellus area to climb from 18.3 billion cubic feet per day in December to 18.46 billion cubic feet per day in January.

Pennsylvania Department of Labor economist James Martini told State Impact earlier this year that the job losses are likely tied to company’s reducing spends and deferring projects to cope with low commodity prices.

“If there is a turnaround in the price levels, or a change in demand for natural gas, it is possible these trends could reverse,” Martini told State Impact.


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