File - An oil pump site is seen outside of Williston, North DakotaREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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After leading the U.S. economic recovery out of recession, some of the nation's top oil states are showing early signs of a slowdown as a result of the plunge in crude prices.Responding to a more than 40 percent drop in crude prices since June, at least a dozen U.S. energy firms have cut spending plans for next year – bad news for states that rely on jobs, wealth and tax income they provide.Texas' economy expanded by nearly 7 percent in 2012 and 3.7 percent in 2013 compared with nationwide rates of 2.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.An informal tally by Reuters of announced plans for U.S. drilling rig operations shows at least seven firms plan to cut the number of rigs they operate now by a total of more than 50 in 2015, with each rig estimated to employ 50-60 workers.
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