CSU Expert: Oil Cutbacks Haven’t Hurt Regional Economy Much

Listen Now
Photo: Drilling near homes in suburban Denver (AP Photo)
This photo taken on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, near Frederick, Colo., shows oil pump jacks working on a property across from a subdivision.

The two largest oil and gas producers in Weld County are cutting back. Noble Energy plans to shrink its workforce there, while Anadarko reduced spending and cut active rigs in the county by half. The reason: low oil prices.

But while some Coloradans are losing their jobs, declines in the oil business are not causing significant harm to the region's economy, according to Martin Shields, director of the Regional Economics Institute at Colorado State University. Unemployment in Weld County is still around 3 percent, Shields says, and that may be because many oil workers are finding work in the construction industry. Shields spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.