Energy Essential to Economic Growth

Natural Gas fuels growth

The World Economic Forum has a released an updated study on energy and economic growth in the US and guess what sector plays a huge role? That’s right, shale gas.

Watch this WEF video for a quick overview.

The study finds that the oil and gas industries added 150,000 jobs in 2011 alone. That’s 9 percent of total job growth nationwide. And these jobs are higher paying than many other sectors with an average wage of $28.30 per hour.

A key statistic for measuring an industry’s impact on the economy is the “employment multiplier.” The WEF rates unconventional natural gas (e.g., Marcellus Shale) jobs at a multiplier of 3.2, meaning that for every direct job in the industry, 3.2 indirect and induced jobs are created in the overall economy. Bradford County hotels, for example, experienced a 100 percent increase in sales during 2010 with ripple effects felt in financial, construction, transportation and other industries.

The study’s punch line? “The shale gas industry alone employs 600,000 people in the United States,” and the oil and gas sector is projected to grow at 6.9 percent through 2015. In short, count on natural gas development to remain a dynamic job creator in Pennsylvania’s economy for years to come, so long as over regulation is kept at bay.