Morning Headlamp — No Sector Spared from Recent Job Loss

Alaska Public Radio News continued to cover reports that state economists believe Alaska in in the midst of a recession. “It’s dramatic. It’s, really ever since the ’80s recession, we certainly haven’t had job losses of this magnitude,” economist Caroline Schultz said. The heaviest job losses, an estimated 2,400, might be coming from the oil and gas industry, though it’s not the only sector where Alaskans are losing jobs. In the construction sector, specialty trade contractors and engineering were hit the hardest both by the cuts to the state’s capital budget and cutbacks in oil-related construction projects. In the professional and business service sectors, nearly half of all jobs losses were in fields like architecture, engineering and technical consulting.

Global company. For the first time since 2008, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to a crude oil production cut last week, renewing hope among producers and investors that prices can begin to recover in earnest after a protracted two-year slump, one of the worst in living memory. According to Forbes, Alaska, along with other countries that rely heavily on oil revenue—Venezuela, Colombia, Russia and Nigeria, should be breathing a collective sigh relief following the OPCE deal.

Many analysts now find reason to be optimistic about a recovery in energy. According to the Houston Chronicle, David Pursell of energy investment bank Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. predicts “2017 will be a better year for oil and gas activity than we anticipated.” Pursell sees crude possibly rallying above $70 a barrel sometime next year.

 

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First Reads

State unemployment data shows the bleak reality of an oil crash

Alaska Public Radio News, Rashah McChesney, December 5, 2016

Here’s What Oil Did The Last Time OPEC Cut Production

Forbes, Frank Holmes, December 5, 2016

Fights over oil taxes and the fiscal cliff

Peninsula Clarion, Elwood Brehmer, December 5, 2016

Cold, dark and dying

Craig Medred, December 6, 2016