Impact of energy industry layoffs in Houston

HOUSTON – Whether you work in the energy industry or have no connection to the industry at all, what's happening now will have an impact.

The price of crude oil plummeted Tuesday, lower than it has been in a decade. It's now hovering around the $30 mark.

Thousands of people in the Houston area losing their jobs this month as oil prices continue to remain low. And we aren't talking about contract jobs. These are high-paying positions within major companies like BP.

"Now they've gone from fat to bone marrow where they are laying off people who they did not want to lay off because they know in two or three years they are going to have to rehire the same type of person but there is going to be a premium there," Mark Jones, Fellow In Political Science at Rice University, said.

BP released a statement about its 4,000 workers cut: "Overall, at a segment level we are planning an upstream organization with a workforce of below 20,000 people by the end of 2016. To reach this level we will need to reduce our current workforce of BP employees and agency contractors by at least 4,000 additional people."

"Thirty dollars to $40 oil is great for the country, it's even on average good for Texas. But it's just really bad for Houston," Jones said.

Oil experts said don't expect things to turn around anytime soon. More layoffs could be announced over the next few weeks.

"There's only a certain point they can take the losses and keep the people on staff they don't have the work for. I think the hope for many companies is that they are going to avoid layoffs but they also realize at some point it's going to be necessary in the next six months," Jones said.