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The S&P 500 energy sector slipped back into a bear market on Friday, down over 21 percent from its June high as oil slipped to the $38 per barrel level.
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ExxonMobil on Friday denied a Bloomberg report that said it is planning on cutting part of its nearly 75,000 strong workforce mainly in the U.S. by shedding 5-10 percent of its employees, likely white-collar workers such as engineers and project managers, subject to annual performance reviews.
“We currently have no plans for layoffs. There are no targets to reduce headcount,” a spokesperson for the number one U.S. oil producer told FOX Business. “We have a rigorous talent management process which routinely assesses employee performance."
However, the company did say that it has been reducing its use of contractors for several months.
“ExxonMobil manages the highs and lows of the industry cycles by supplementing our employees with contractors. As we head into down cycles, we reduce the use of contractors. That has been underway for several months,” a spokesperson said.
ExxonMobil Chief Executive Darren Woods said at the company's annual shareholder's meeting in May that there are no plans for layoffs, though they have cut planned spending by 30 percent for the year.
The energy industry has been hammered by coronavirus and there doesn’t appear to be a recovery in the near future. Arizona, Texas, South Carolina and Florida all reported at least a 30 percent surge in coronavirus cases this week, according to the Wall Street Journal.