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Shale Job Numbers…On The Money Or Just A Drop In The Bucket?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 6:33 AM

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State officials are trumpeting a 30 percent increase in shale jobs over the past two years…roughly 2,000 more jobs in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same time in 2011. But as ideastream’s Brian Bull reports, at least one group calls the increase overhyped.

Photo Gallery

A heavy loader prepares to carry steel pipes at an Ohio Timken plant (photo by Brian Bull) A natural gas drilling platform in eastern Ohio (WCPN stock photo)

This week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced the spike in natural gas–related employment around the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays in the eastern part of the state.  One official added that the average wage was at $75,000 in core fracking industries, which include well drilling and pipeline construction.

But an earlier report by the left-leaning Policy Matters Ohio has called many claims about shale drilling’s job creation potential “exaggerated.”

“It’s sorta what I call `fracking fever’,” says Amanda Woodrum, She’s an energy researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, who suggests percentages can be misleading.

“Right now in Ohio, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of total employment is in the shale industry.  That’s pretty small.  But it doesn’t mean the industry isn’t worth developing, but it means we need to take a close look at both the costs and the benefits, and get a better handle on it.”

Woodrum says one unanswered question is just how many jobs in shale drilling are actually going to local workers, and how many are going to workers who relocate to Ohio temporarily.

Additional Information

Official state reports on Ohio’s shale industry
Policy Matters Ohio’s release on six-state study of shale employment claims

Tags

Economy, Energy, Shale

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