>> With crude oil prices beginning to climb back up and energy companies shifting from survival to recovery mode. Some even planning to expand production. Oil industry jobs are still as scarce as they were in the depths of the downturn, when more than 200,000 people were laid off. Reuters correspondent Ernie Scheyder is in Houston, Texas, the heart of the American oil industry.
>> Thousands of workers remain unemployed nearly two years after the oil price collapse began. Yet many executives have started to plot paths back to growth. That's leaving a lot of those unemployed workers behind. Especially the white collar workers, the petroleum engineers, the geologists, and the like. Many executives feel that, for now, they can live without those expensive workers, many of whom make more than $100,000 a year.
>> But many of these unemployed workers with specialized skills are determined to get back into the business and not let their years of experience go to waste.>> I can put one of those together. After I went
Dozens of laid-off oilfield workers here in the greater Houston area in Texas have bandied together.
Forming several networking groups to help each other with resume skills, interview skills, and the like. Some groups have even called up existing companies, like Halliburton right behind me, and asked them for tours. Effectively telling these companies that hey, someday, we're going to have jobs too. And we could either be your customers, or potentially your future employees.
>> While thousands of blue collar oil industry workers have already moved into other industries like construction. Many unemployed white collar specialists interviewed by Reuters, who have been through ups and downs before, are hoping they're just in another cyclical downturn. This time though, odds are many will not make it back.