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Oilfields are a U.S. jobs bright spot

Jobs are returning to the U.S. oil patch after three straight years of bloodletting that included 206,000 layoffs and the bankruptcy of more than 125 companies. A 27-month plunge in oilfield employment is over (chart below), and companies have added about 2,500 jobs so far this year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why it's important: The oil patch is among the few bright spots for job-seekers with less than a college education. Even so, the jobs that are surfacing are not unskilled — they require training and often licenses. With a tight job market, companies are going to have to increasingly offer that training to attract and keep sufficient numbers of workers.

Data: Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., US Energy Information Administration; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios