Shale Gas Drilling (Fracking) a Rare Bright Spot for Jobs
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has a report out showing the positive impact of shale gas drilling on the job market in the state.
The boom in Marcellus shale natural-gas exploration and production created 48,000 jobs in Pennsylvania during the past 18 months, says a new state report.
“The numbers are absolutely staggering. We certainly project the jobs will grow as production continues to expand,” said Travis Windle, a spokesman for the trade group Marcellus Shale Coalition in Cecil in Washington County.
In this economy jobs are not that abundant, so a clearly thriving industry is indeed a bright spot, but as the report notes, these jobs are not just a boon because they are available, they are good paying jobs to boot.
The report shows that the average wage last year for jobs in the basic gas industry was $69,995, while the average wage in support industries — such as construction, steel and engineering — was $63,967. That compares with an average wage for all industries in the state of about $45,491.
Kudos to Pennsylvania policymakers for dismissing the aggressive anti-fracking campaign of the anti-fossil fuel left and welcoming the development of abundant, clean-burning, domestic energy supplies. Another benefit that the increased economic activity and jobs deliver is a little help with this.
The state currently faces a deficit of us to $4 billion for the FY2012 state budget.