Texas has surpassed 300,000 jobs in the oil and natural gas sector as the oil boom drives job growth for a fourth straight year.
According to the data released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state gained more than 20,000 oil and gas jobs since July 2013, its largest increase since April 2013.
With hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling opening up vast reserves, the state has been drawing oil field workers from around the country eager to jump on rig crews where salaries start at around $70,000 a year.
And it’s not just Texas. Over three months between April and July, more than 10,000 new oil and gas jobs were created around the country.
“We have a lot of production increasing in the shale areas of Texas and North Dakota. And we’re seeing an upswing in the number of rigs in the gulf,” said Paul Caplan, president of Rigzone, which runs an online job board for the industry. “The competition for people is getting tough.”