November 30, 2020

COVID-19 Leads To Thousands Of Permanent Layoffs In Oil And Gas Sector


  • According to a survey by an organization called PetrolLMI, 37 percent of Canadian oil and gas companies made permanent layoffs due to the pandemic-driven oil price and oil demand slump. Thirty-five percent of firms implemented hiring freezes; 29 percent reduced executive pay; 28 percent cut employee wages; 27 percent instituted temporary layoffs; and 21 percent reduced workers’ hours.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s manufacturing index fell from +29 in October to +15 in November even though readings for shipments, new orders, and employment all were positive and manufacturers reported improvement in local business conditions. Spending indexes softened somewhat, however, but survey participants also said they expect growth to continue in the coming months. Read the full report here.
  • Sales of new homes in the United States fell 0.3 percent from September 2020 to October 2020, but increased a remarkable 41.5 percent from October 2019 to October 2020.
  • Personal incomes in the United States decreased $130.1 billion (0.7 percent) in October while personal consumption expenditures increased $70.9 billion, or 0.5 percent.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 778,000 individuals filed for federal unemployment benefits during the week that ended November 21, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week’s level. The four-week moving average of first-time claims also rose. The number of individuals who continued to receive benefits fell to 6.071 million during the week that ended November 14, meanwhile, down from 6.37 million the week before. The four-week moving average of continuing claims also declined.
  • In other economic news: Statistics Canada reported more than 34,100 businesses closed in the country in August 2020, a 2.7 percent decrease in the number of closures the month before, and a new report from Capital Economics estimates that 150,000 to 200,000 jobs could be lost in Canada due to new coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions; the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index fell to 76.9 in November from 81.8 in October 2020 while the Conference Board’s consumer confidence reading dropped to 96.1 in November from 101.4 in October; and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s National Activity Index, a key gauge of future economic growth, was +0.83 in October, up from +0.32 in September.