The Wall Street Journal discusses what it looks like when a Texas oil boom busts. A year ago, the Permian Basin region was one of America’s hottest labor markets, fueled by a fracking gold rush. Today, the oil field has all but shut down, and everyone is feeling the pain, from restaurant owners to landlords to barbers.
When an oil bust takes hold in West Texas, no one is spared: Drilling rigs collect dust, barber chairs sit empty, students drop out of school and lines swell at the food bank.
The collapse in the wake of the new coronavirus has been historically brutal. In a matter of weeks, global demand for oil shriveled by more than 20% this spring, as people hunkered indoors and stopped flying and driving. Oil prices crashed.