MBA Chart of the Week: Indexed Growth of Nonfarm Payroll Employment for ‘Oil’ States

Oil prices continued to roil markets last week as concerns about faltering global demand, especially from China, and unabated supply pushed oil prices down below $30 a barrel to a 12-year low. This is in stark contrast to the middle of 2014 when prices were over $100 a barrel.  

This week’s chart shows the 2015 trend in employment in several U.S. states reliant on oil production, indexed to January 2015 for comparison purposes.  

While generally weaker than the U.S. as a whole, both Colorado and Texas still saw positive employment growth of about 1 percent by November 2015, while employment fell in Oklahoma and Louisiana by less than 0.5 percent. North Dakota, on the other hand, saw declines in total employment of more than 3 percent. For the U.S. as a whole, jobs in the oil and gas extraction sector fell by just over 8 percent for the year.   

From a housing and real estate finance standpoint, we will be watching these areas for any signs of slowing home sales, declining home prices and/or rising delinquencies in either the single-family or commercial/multifamily markets.   

To view the Chart of the Week, click  

(Lynn Fisher is vice president of research and economics with the Mortgage Bankers Association; she can be reached at Joel Kan associate vice president of economic forecasting with MBA; he can be reached at