IHS is reporting that unconventional gas created directly and indirectly 1 million jobs in America by 2010 in a study done for ANGA. See www.ihs.com/unconventionalnaturalgasstudies. That's a jobs boom just when America desperately needed one.
How desperately? America was hurtling into a Depression from November 2007 to the first quarter of 2009, with the stock market falling from over 14,000 to 6,500 and oil collapsing from $147 per barrel in July 2008 to $33 by December 2008.
Let's also remember that the unconventional gas jobs were substantially created at a time when America went into recession in November 2007 and then experienced an 8.9% and 6% GDP contractions respectively in the 4th quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. At that point, monthly job losses ranged from 500,000 to 750,000, a real calamity.
The massive job creation from unconventional gas undoubtedly played a significant role in stabilizing GDP which began growing by the third quarter of 2009. Monthly national job losses ended in February 2010, and jobs have been added every month since then.
Shale gas created 13,600 direct jobs and 57,000 total jobs in Pennsylvania as of 2010, according to the IHS study. Pennsylvania is expected to see further substantial job creation by 2015 from gas production.
The big picture is often lost in the swirl of the moment and the press of events. The unconventional gas boom came in the nick of time to help avoid a national economic disaster and has been an important part of national recovery. A great many people are thankful.