Appalachian Basin

Pennsylvania Counties See Low Unemployment Rate Thanks to Shale

Pennsylvania counties that support shale development continue to hold unemployment rates lower than the state and even national average. A recent Observer-Reporter article highlighted this important fact focusing on Washington and Greene counties in southwest Pennsylvania.  But a look at the data from other regions in the state show the same thing: shale development is putting Americans back to work.

The graph below looks at the six counties with the most unconventional wells drilled in 2014 so far.

Unemployment Graph - FINAL

It’s clear that shale development is driving unemployment down in these counties. Jeff Kotula, president of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce recently stated:

“There is a definite correlation between our low unemployment rates in both counties and the continued expansion of the energy industry here.”

According to the Observer Reporter article:

“Washington County has been below the U.S. [unemployment] rate for 20 of the past 21 months and at our below the Pennsylvania’s figure for at least the past 25 months.”

After a better part of a decade developing our shale resources in Pennsylvania, the industry continues to create jobs.  And fortunately for counties where development doesn’t take place, the supply chain is so large that many Pennsylvanians still benefit. A recent study by the American Petroleum Institute found that at least 1,347 businesses spread across all 18 of Pennsylvania’s congressional districts are part of the larger oil and natural gas supply chain.

This industry came around just at the right time here in Pennsylvania.  Marcellus shale development has helped Pennsylvania weather an economic recession that other states are still digging themselves out of. It’s even helped shake the rust off the rust belt by helping bring manufacturing back to the United States. Companies looking to take advantage of our cheap energy have begun to move operations to the United States, which is creating more homegrown jobs in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio. It’s also providing affordable energy to households across the Northeast – all while creating family sustaining jobs.


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