Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Marcellus Creates 23,500 Jobs In 2009

Another jobs study and another number for the jobs created by the gas industry in Pennsylvania. A new study done by professor Kelsey at Penn State University found 23,500 jobs created by the industry in 2009, a big number but about half of some other estimates. See gas/publications.

Professor Kelsey's jobs number includes direct and induced numbers. Professor Kelsey also found that 55% and 66% of lease and royalty payments respectively are saved in the first year. Other findings included that about half of the drilling plots are owned by people living in the county and half do not live in the county where the drilling takes place plus 23% of businesses in Washington county reported that the gas industry had boosted their revenues.

My bottom line on the controversy about the number of jobs generated by the industry is qualitative and not quantitative. A lot of direct and induced jobs are being created at a time when every job is especially precious. The industry is rightly proud of its important, positive economic impact. Yet, the gas industry is not a ticket to prosperity or a job for every Pennsylvanian.

We are a big state, with more than 12 million people, and we need about 6.6 million total
jobs. We must develop much more than the Marcellus to have a healthy economy.


  1. This is an important point to make. I hope Sec. Allan gets the memo

  2. Great post Mr. Hanger. I think it's also worth noting that the jobs that the Marcellus is creating are often of higher quality (I believe I have seen quotes that the average Marcellus industry job pays somewhere between $70,000 and $80,000 per year.

    An other notable but harder to quantify statistic is how many jobs were prevented from being LOST by Marcellus investment. I bet that number is sizable.

    Marcellus investment is also making existing jobs better... the waitress that is making more in tips because the restaurant is busier, the car salesman that made more because of extra sales, the construction workers that are now able to receive benefits from their employer because of increased revenues.

  3. Mike:

    The direct drilling jobs are indeed good ones, with truly family sustaining incomes. They are great. No job right now is a bad one, given the high unemployment especially for our citizens who are younger than 25. I suspect the indirect or induced jobs created by the industry are lower paid, but most welcome.

    Your comment about waitresses and car salesmen making more as a result of the gas industry is important too.

    All good stuff. Yet we also have to focus on other strengths like education, medicine, energy efficiency, alternative energy, agriculture, manufacturing. Marcellus alone is not going to get the "job" done.

  4. Glenn:

    I hope so too. As do thousands whose jobs depend on the state forests keeping their sustainability certification. Just a bit of balance. Please.