A concerned Chinese investor walks past a screen displaying prices of shares (red for price rising and green for price falling) at a stock brokerage house in Hangzhou city, east China's Zhejiang province, 8 December 2015. Credit: Imaginechina / AP Images

Layoffs, bankruptcies, falling demand and massive stockpiles. After three years of record American oil production, a gloomier reality is taking hold in the energy and mining sectors as commodity prices slip, The New York Times reports.

American oil companies have idled roughly 1,200 oil rigs, or more than two-thirds of the total in the U.S., since late last year, prompting layoffs for thousands of workers in North Dakota, Texas and elsewhere, according to the Times.

And mining companies are hurting, too. Mining giant Anglo American earlier this week slashed its workforce by 60 percent, or about 85,000 jobs; suspended dividend payments and cut capital expenditures.

The pain is tied in part to China’s economic slowdown. Weakening demand from China, the world’s leading economy, coupled with a supply glut, has upended the commodities market.

Jennifer Gollan

Jennifer Gollan is an award-winning reporter. Her investigation When Abusers Keep Their Guns, which exposed how perpetrators often kill their intimate partners with guns they possess unlawfully, spurred sweeping provisions in federal law that greatly expanded the power of local and state police and prosecutors to crack down on abusers with illegal firearms. The project won a 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and has been nominated for a 2022 Emmy Award.

Gollan also has reported on topics ranging from oil companies that dodge accountability for workers’ deaths to shoddy tire manufacturing practices that kill motorists. Her series on rampant exploitation and abuse of caregivers in the burgeoning elder care-home industry, Caregivers and Takers, prompted a congressional hearing and a statewide enforcement sweep in California to recover workers’ wages. Another investigation – focused on how Navy shipbuilders received billions in public money even after their workers were killed or injured on the job – led to tightened federal oversight of contractors’ safety violations.

Gollan’s work has appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Guardian US and Politico Magazine, as well as on PBS NewsHour and Al Jazeera English’s “Fault Lines” program. Her honors include a national Emmy Award, a Hillman Prize for web journalism, two Sigma Delta Chi Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, a National Headliner Award, a Gracie Award and two Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing awards. Gollan is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.