New survey aims to find out if energy industry has lost workforce for good

A new survey has been launched that aims to determine whether the energy industry has lost its workforce to other industries for good. It’s estimated that approximately 20% of the industry’s workforce has been laid off over the past two years. During this time, spending at US drilling companies has been cut by more than 50%.

The survey – a joint effort between the University of Houston Center for Applied Psychological Research (CARP) and Newhouse Consultants, aims to find out whether energy employees who have been laid off will return to the industry when demand increases. If not, will energy companies need to be prepared to hire and on-board large numbers of new hires?

The survey aims to help to identify what percentage of laid-off energy workers intend to return to the industry. It will also examine which subgroups of workers are most likely to return, as well as what energy companies can do to ascertain they will be perceived as attractive employers when demand increases.

A scientifically validated, web-based survey has been created. It can be accessed here. 

Summary reports, presentations and recommendations will be made available through the University of Houston’s Energy Group and through Newhouse Consultants. Findings also will be disseminated at industry conferences.

Industry associations interested in collaborating on this project can contact Dr Christiane Spitzmueller, Associate Professor at the University of Houston, at 281-610-9099 or, or Bob Newhouse at Newhouse Consultants at 713-825-3226 or


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