The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Means Jobs for Pennsylvania

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 23, 2014

Energy Means Jobs for Pennsylvania

Earlier this week we focused on the job and economic impacts of energy in New York state, a good story that could be much better if the state would permit safe and responsible development of natural gas from shale. How much better is suggested by the dramatic increases in natural gas production in neighboring Pennsylvania, as depicted in this chart by the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

 PA NG EIA

The nearly off-the-charts trajectory of Pennsylvania’s natural gas output, just in the past couple of years, is a tribute to two things: the energy-rich Marcellus Shale and advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The energy activity translates into jobs and economic growth, according to PwC:

  • 339,000 total jobs supported, or 4.7 percent of overall state employment

  • $19.5 billion in labor income – wages, salaries and benefits, as well as proprietors’ income from jobs directly or indirectly supported by industry through operational spending, dividend payments and capital investments

  • $34.6 billion in added value – additional value created at a particular stage of production, including employee compensation, proprietors’ income, income to capital owners from property and indirect business taxes that are borne by consumers rather than producers

A separate IHS study:

The adoption of hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania was the main driver of double digit job growth in Pennsylvania in 2010 and 2011, providing a bulwark against deep recession at a time when many other sectors of the state economy were struggling. … More transport and processing infrastructure will be needed to fully develop the (shale) play, and delays in infrastructure could slow development, but the vast Marcellus play covering about 60% of the state has enormous resource potential.

Job creation from unconventional energy alone is expected to double to nearly 221,000 by 2020 and 387,000 by 2035, IHS estimates. Value-added economic activity will grow to more than $49 billion by 2035, the study says.

This is good news for Pennsylvania, where recent polling found that 94 percent of registered voters agree that increased production of domestic oil and natural gas could lead to more jobs, and 94 percent agree that increased development of the nation’s energy infrastructure would help create U.S. jobs.

No surprises in that survey. Pennsylvanians are seeing the energy dynamic at work all around them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.