Where are the Fracking Jobs?

RealClearEnergy takes a look at the geographic distribution of all of the new jobs added due to the hydraulic fracturing revolution:

Preparing for a new offensive against fracking, this time with Hollywood in the lead, the oil and gas industry has put out a new round of statistics touting the employment benefits of the natural gas boom. This week IHS Consulting published figures claiming that unconventional oil and gas drilling have been responsible for creating 1.7 million jobs in the country and generating $63 billion in government revenue. Projections for 2020 are for 3 billion jobs and $113 billion in revenue. Most of the jobs are obviously concentrated in the state’s with large shale deposits. But IHS and the oil and gas industry are careful to note that ample secondary employment is being created in non-drilling states as well.

The pie chart on the left shows the share of total jobs in each of the producing states. Texas leads with 45 percent, both because of the size of the Barnett and Haynesville Shales and because fracking began there first. Pennsylvania, the current epicenter of the Marcellus, is second with 8 percent. California, which is not thought of as a beneficiary of the recent technology, is also at 8 percent, just working from already developed fields. The state also contains the vast Monterey Shale, an oil and gas field that may eventually surpass everything else in North America.

It’s worth repeating that bar any future political assaults on the natural gas industry, the industry will potentially create an additional 1.3 million jobs (for a total of 3 million jobs) by 2020 while bringing in $113 billion in tax revenue for the government.

It’s noteworthy from the chart that a major portion of the jobs from states that actually produce the oil and natural gas are from Texas. I would have thought it would have been more spread out, with North Dakota and Pennsylvania picking up a greater share than they currently have.

Finally, a second chart graphs the number of jobs created by the fracking revolution in states where there is little oil or gas activity. These are jobs that, according to the study by IHS Consulting, were created due to the increased demand for products related to oil and natural gas (scientific positions studying shale opportunities, steel manufacturers, real estate services due to increased economic activity, etc.).

It’s noteworthy that some of these states, such as New York, are benefitting from the fracking revolution despite banning it in their own state. One almost wishes that these states weren’t able to free-ride off of the massive number of jobs created by hydraulic fracturing revolution while outlawing it at home.


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