It's no secret that the current price of oil has a lot of people concerned. When oil gets to a price near $50 a barrel producers and those in related industries begin to tighten their belts and examine ways they can keep their expenses down.

This is not a new issue in the oil patch. It's actually just part of life in the oil patch but when there is a downturn it's never easy and it always makes a lot of us in South Louisiana uneasy.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission has released their June report concerning employment in the state. Given the current state of the oil industry it is no surprise that the report showed oil industry jobs at a almost ten year low.

It's a disproportionate effect.  When you lose a job offshore, it's like losing two or three jobs onshore in manufacturing.

Those are the words of Eric Smith. Smith is the Associate Director of the Tulane Energy Institute. He made those comments in a story published by the Louisiana Radio Network.

Oil and gas jobs are classified in the same category as mining and logging jobs. Jobs in that category fell by 300 during June. That makes the total number of jobs lost in that classification of employment to 6,000 over the course of this year. Smith says the price of oil is the catalyst for the drop.

When oil prices are low, we lose more jobs than the rest of the country, proportionately.  When oil prices are high, we gain more jobs than the rest of the country.

That's the cyclical nature of the oil and gas industry. The silver lining to this gray cloud is that jobs in refining and the petrochemical industry remain steady.