In Pennsylvania alone, 271,250 jobs are supported by the oil and natural gas industry (2009). These jobs add $25.8 billion to the gross state product, or 4.8% of its wealth. These numbers are growing quickly with the addition of Marcellus Shale production. A recent look at PA Dept of Labor unemployment figures shows a decrease to below State averages in jobless numbers in those counties where drilling is taking place. These are counties whose unemployment has been historically higher than the State averages.
Development of the Marcellus Shale added 44,000 jobs in Pennsylvania in 2009 according to a report by Timothy Considine, PhD entitled The Economic Impacts of the Marcellus Shale: Implications for New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and a similar report by Pennsylvania State University.
These jobs and business opportunities are not just in exploring, producing, refining, transporting and marketing oil and natural gas, but their activity also drives employment through the purchase of other goods and services that support the industry's operations. Equipment suppliers, construction companies, management specialists, and food service businesses all possess strong links to the industry. These businesses, in turn, purchase other goods and services that support other jobs throughout Pennsylvania and the nation. This type of ancillary economic activity will continue to grow and create much needed jobs. In fact, the Penn State study suggests that most oil and gas industry jobs are going to come from businesses that serve the needs of the drillers rather than the gas companies themselves.
Following are some of the industries and businesses that are generating the economic activity in the region:
- Wholesale and retail trade
- Real estate and rental
- Health and social services
- Professional and technical services
- Sign making
- Tree removal/logging
- X-Ray inspection companies
- Fire and Safety Companies
- Airlines, private and scheduled
Stories across the state also demonstrate the benefits of Marcellus Shale development:
- Keystone Energy Forum Downloadable Fact Sheets
- PA Department of Labor and Industry Marcellus Shale Fast Facts
- The Economic Impacts of the Marcellus Shale: Implications for New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia
- Penn State Marcellus Agricultural Law Resource and Reference Center
- A Drive for New Jobs through Energy (National Geographic)
- Shale Country
Advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have powered the American natural gas boom. And now hydraulic fracturing could be increasingly powered by the very fuel it has been so successful in coaxing up from the depths. Oil- and gas-field companies from Pennsylvania to Texas are experimenting with converting the huge diesel pump engines that propel millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals thousands of feet down well bores to break apart rock or tight sands and release the natural gas trapped inside.