Low gas affecting East Texas job market

Low gas affecting East Texas job market

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Gas prices are down and now thousands of workers across the state of Texas are out of jobs. Jerry Huffman with the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce said Texas dodged the recession, but now low gas prices are having a major impact on the local economy.

"We are seeing a downward turn," Huffman said. "Companies across the board are laying off their bottom layer."

Marilyn Hartsook with Workforce Solution East Texas said this is because businesses will lose money if they keep those workers.

"Statewide gas prices have affected oil and gas drilling and exploration," Hartsook said.

Two weeks ago, Schlumberger announced layoffs across the board which affected 9,000 jobs in Houston. East Texas. Investment analyst Trey Wilkerson explained further.

"You are seeing announcements like this across the oil services sector, the equipment and services sector, Schlumberger, Haliburton, a lot of the very big companies have announced in some cases thousands of layoffs are expected." Wilkerson said.

According to ABC News, in addition to Schlumberger, oil and gas companies such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes have announced layoff which comes to a total of 17,000 jobs nationwide. The trend has now hit East Texas with the latest General Electric layoffs.

Huffman and Hartsook said East Texans shouldn't worry about the recent layoffs.

"I also think our economy is still very strong .We have a lot of business out there that is not tied to the oil industry," Huffman said.

"I don't think these workers are going to have to hard of a time finding jobs. They are well trained, and there are a lot of manufacturing jobs available in East Texas," Hartsook said.

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