Did The BLS Forget To Count Thousands Of Energy Job Losses?

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Feb 06, 2015 - 11:22

One of the convenient things about the sharp plunge in crude and its subsequent and acute impact on energy company staffing levels, is that due to its concentrated nature one can keep track of precisely how many layoffs corporations in the energy sector announced in January. And as Bloomberg helpfully tracks, there were at least (and surely many more that were not unaccounted for) 18,000 terminations by US companies in the high-paying energy sector (and thousands more by foreign companies who have laid of US workers which are not shown in this total).

According to third-party tracker Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the number is roughly the same with 21,322 job cuts in January in the energy space attributed to the tumble in oil prices. Texas alone accounted for 19,833 of these layoffs.

“We may see oil-related job cuts extend well beyond those industries involved with exploration and extraction,” said John A. Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm. He warned the retail, construction and entertainment sectors in regions that have benefited from the oil boom could face challenges.

The BLS report? Well, according to the January payrolls report, the number of Oil and Gas Extraction workers declined to 199.5K in January from 201.4K in December, a virtually non-exstant drop of 1,900 workers (and even the not seasonally adjusted, raw data shows a tiny drop of just 3.1K workers).

Visually, the outlier is as follows:

So our question is: did the BLS choose to ignore these thousands of jobs losses, or did it simply forget?