U.S. Steel is laying off 756 employees at two of the steelmaker’s facilities — a move that comes as falling oil prices hurt the company’s customers in the energy sector.
The steelmaker said it issued warning notices on Monday to employees that it would lay off 614 at the company’s Lorain, Ohio, manufacturing site, and an additional 142 at a processing location outside of Houston. The layoffs will be effective by early March.
U.S. Steel (X) spokeswoman Sarah Cassella told Fortune that the company had been experiencing “softening market conditions, primarily related to the energy market.”
In Lorain, the U.S. Steel facility makes steel pipes and tubes that are specifically for oil-and-gas firms, Cassella said. In Houston, employees do testing and finishing for those tubular products, and the layoffs were related to those functions.
While U.S. Steel is laying off hundreds of employees, the move hurts a sliver of the company’s total workforce. As of the end of 2013, U. S. Steel had approximately 26,000 employees in North America and approximately 12,500 in Europe.
Oil prices, which have been sliding for months, dipped below $50 per barrel on Monday, dropping below that threshold for the first time in over five years as traders react to global oversupply. Shares of energy companies were particularly dented on Monday, when the Dow Jones industrial average shed over 330 points.
The news was first reported by a local Fox affiliate in Ohio.