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Liam Denning

Don’t Tell Anybody, But Frackers Went on a Hiring Spree

March was a welcome sign of recovery from a crisis, but it can’t be the new norm.

A little bigger in Texas.

A little bigger in Texas.

Photographer: PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images

Friday’s jobs numbers threw everyone for a loop. But they were unambiguously good for the oil and gas business: Payrolls jumped by more than 12,000 in March, the biggest monthly gain in more than 30 years of data.

This is the season for big comebacks; it’s only just over a year since crude oil posted negative prices on Nymex. For the benighted E&P sector, though, this rebound depends a lot on restraint; around spending and growth, chiefly.