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Industry Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant negative effect on employment in the U.S. fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors. Energy use (especially gasoline and jet fuel, but also electricity) decreased significantly during the height of the pandemic and this, coupled with already low prices for oil and natural gas, prompted many companies to layoff a large percentage of their workforces and halt new exploration activities. The New York Times reports that approximately 20 American oil and gas companies (including Chesapeake Energy) declared bankruptcy in the first half of 2020. A total of 227 companies filed for bankruptcy in a five-year span that ended on May 31, 2020.

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