State officials bracing for layoffs by oil and gas industry

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OKLAHOMA CITY - There's no doubt Oklahoma relies on the oil and gas industry to bring money to the state.

With the recent low gas prices,  several agencies are bracing for layoffs.

Daniel Graham knows firsthand what it's like to lose a job from one of the energy industry giants.

"It was no secret that there were going to be layoffs. We didn't know who, but you prepare for that. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst," Daniel Graham said. "We all basically knew it was coming. I mean, we all prepared ourselves for that inevitability, but yeah, it was a tough day."

Graham now works for an out-of-state start-up business from his home.

It is a more stable job that helps support his family.

"I would have to think really long and hard about if I want to return to that industry or not," he said.

A report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas claims layoffs across the United States hit a two-year high in January.

The report says about 40 percent of the layoffs are directly related to oil and gas.

In fact, Halliburton just announced this week they were laying off several thousand people company-wide.

Schlumberger announced cuts as well.

Although oil and gas prices are rebounding, the state is still preparing for the worst.

"These things tend to run a little bit behind what the economy is actually doing, so we think this is going to be an issue moving forward," John Carpenter, with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, said.

"We are pretty confident that right now we are not just dealing in the hundreds. It's starting to become pretty apparent that it's impacting our labor force," Carpenter said.

NewsChannel 4 reached out to several energy companies.

Chesapeake said they do not plan to have any job cuts.

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