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Monday, March 3, 2014

Can we move beyond the shale gas jobs hype?

Pennsylvania’s Keystone Research Center has been a strong, professional, and persistent voice of reason and source of factual analysis about the exaggerated claims of job creation in Pennsylvania by the natgas industry and its supporters in high places.

Now, a team of economists from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has dittoed KRC’s analyses.

The BLS finds that the oil and natural gas industry added a total of 15,114 jobs in Pennsylvania between 2007 and 2012 -  a far cry from the dubious, multiplier-driven 200,000 jobs often attributed to the industry by its cheerleaders.

The reasons for the differences between the BLS figures and the somewhat higher numbers developed by KRC are explained in this must-read blog post, as is the relative importance of shale jobs in natgas-producing states:   
The takeaway: in a small state like North Dakota, tens of thousands of oil and gas jobs are enough to bring down the overall unemployment rate, while in large states like Texas and Pennsylvania, this sector just doesn't produce enough employment to move the dial.
There’s far too much hyperbole surrounding just about every aspect of shale gas development – nowhere moreso than in the Keystone State. It’s long past time to get real.


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