Drilling DOES Mean Jobs for Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, March 13, 2012 0 comments

The impact Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling has had on Pennsylvania's economy has been a controversial topic - in fact it has even been the heart of political debates. One report, released on Monday by Wells Fargo economists says the drilling DID have a measurable effect on Pennsylvania's economy in fact, so much so that it could generate more than 200,000 additional jobs by 2020.

Pennsylvania has added 130,000 jobs since employment bottomed out in February 2010, one-third of them in education and health care, said the report by Wells Fargo Securities' economics group. The state's economy is growing faster than it did at any point during the past decade, it said.

Although the natural resources and mining sector employs fewer than 1 percent of the state's workforce, it accounted for 8 percent of recent job growth, the study said.

Employment in the 14 counties where drilling is most prevalent is already above its pre-recession peak, a result the study ties to the economic impact of natural gas drilling. For every percentage point of employment growth in shale counties, employment in Pennsylvania's other counties rises by 0.27 percent, the study found.

The result was surprising at first, said Wells Fargo economist and study co-author Jay Bryson, but the model fits the data and there is considerable anecdotal evidence corroborating the conclusions.

The study calculated optimistic, pessimistic and midpoint scenarios for Pennsylvania employment through 2020. The midpoint scenario predicts employment growth of 570,000 jobs, of which 200,000 can be attributed to the shale industry and its spillover effects.

Click here to read the article at Central Penn Business.


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