The ongoing oil slump has led to increased job loss in the energy sector, despite signs that prices may be stabilizing, according to Ben Leubsdorf of The Wall Street Journal. Mining payrolls across the U.S. fell for the 22nd consecutive month in July and were down 26% from their peak in September 2014, a total loss of more than 220,000 positions, according to Labor Department data.
The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that the unemployment rates in 11 metro areas were at least one percentage point higher in July than they were a year earlier. Seven of these metros were in four energy-producing states – Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Casper, Wyoming’s unemployment rate saw the sharpest increase, from 4.8% one year ago to 7.3% in July, a 2.5% difference.
Across the nation, July 2016 unemployment rates ranged from 1.8% in Sioux Falls, SD to 24.3% in Yuma, Arizona. In the 51 largest metro areas, with populations over 1 million, unemployment ranged from between 3.4% in Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. and 6.9% in Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.