The drop in oil prices has been great for many consumers, but it's not good news for everyone. Demand for workers in energy-related jobs is plunging. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Plunging oil prices have led to consumer friendly prices at the pump, but the trend is proving to be a double edged sword. Jobs in energy related fields are getting whacked, according to Conference Board economist Gad Levanon. SOUNDBITE: GAD LEVANON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE CONFERENCE BOARD (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We have the help wanted online data set that tracks job ads across the country, and we looked at specific occupations that are related to oil extraction, and we see a large drop in that and in February compared to November, almost a 50 percent decline in many extraction and related occupations." The February jobs report will be released Friday. Nonfarm payrolls are expected to have increased 240,000 last month after rising 257,000 in January. The unemployment rate is forecast falling one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.6 percent. Levanon says worst hit are states like Texas, North Dakota and Wyoming. He says that, while the consumer benefits of cheap oil more than offset these job issues, they are significant. Many of the jobs are skilled and high paying. The decline of the energy sector could have broad implications, according to Fact and Opinion Economic's Bob Brusca: SOUNDBITE: BOB BRUSCA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, FAO ECONOMICS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think, that what's really happening is that job growth is going to slow. I think that the underpinning for job growth has been undercut. I think, it's been undercut by the problems in the energy sector. The energy sector has been a driving force in manufacturing." Investment in the energy sector is also being impacted and will factor into GDP.