Since its inception on September 9, 1850 as the 31st state, California has been an innovator. Today, as the 5th largest economy in the world, with a gross state product of $3 trillion, and approaching 40 million residents, job creation is critical for maintaining a strong and vigorous economy. For job growth and maintenance, California looks to the pillars of its economy: energy, agriculture, entertainment, and technology. Focusing on the energy sector, and specifically the oil industry, the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) credits the industry with employing hundreds of thousands of workers in a wide range of family-wage jobs, from research, exploration, production, and shipping, to refining, delivery, sales, and company operations. The tens of billions of dollars in income from these jobs represent the aspirations of many generations of California families for improved education, health, and quality of living.

  • $26 billion in annual salaries
    • The average annual pay in the oil industry is $123,000 
    • This average represents nearly double the state’s private-sector average
    • The California oil and gas industry directly employs more than 55,000 people
    • Over 32,000 of these jobs are located in the San Joaquin Valley, where the unemployment rate is nearly double the rest of the state 
    • 50% of this workforce is ethnically diverse 
    • Another 300,000 indirect jobs are also supported by the oil and gas industry in California
  • $21 billion in annual tax revenue to the state

The oil sector provides a diverse labor force with the potential to break the cycle of generational poverty.  Investments in the oil industry will continue to create job opportunities for minorities and women. African American and Hispanic workers are projected to account for close to 25% of new hires in management, business, and financial jobs through 2035.  Of the women projected to be hired by the industry, more than half are expected to fill management and professional occupations.

With nearly 1.9 million job opportunities projected in the petrochemical industries through 2035, there is a vast opportunity for the industry to attract, retain, and develop lifelong careers for Millennials. Millennials today have unique characteristics that will enable the creation of a better future. Through the use of technology, the industry is well-positioned to address tomorrow’s greatest challenges.