Thousands of Jobs? Try Millions.

At the end of 2011, IHS CERA released a report on the real and tangible benefits being created by natural gas development across the United States, including the creation of one million jobs and millions of dollars in state and federal revenues in 2010.  Could good news get any better?  Apparently, yes.

In the second installment of the IHS CERA study, the world renowned energy experts found that, by 2015, responsible natural gas production from shale and other “tight” reservoirs will create an astounding 1.5 million jobs

As highlighted by IHS:

  • “In 2010, unconventional gas activity supported one million jobs; this will grow to nearly 1.5 million jobs in 2015 and to over 2.4 million in 2035.”
  • Between 2010 and 2015, the Top 10 producing states “will experience a compound annual employment growth rate of nearly 8 percent while total US employment is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.6 percent during the same time period.”
  • “In 2010, the Top Five producing states’ unemployment rates were 6.9-8.9 percent, compared with the national average of 9.6 percent.”

It seems hardly a coincidence that states leading America’s energy renaissance also have the lowest unemployment rates. Take North Dakota, where the Bakken field has helped place that state second only to Texas in total oil production. North Dakota enjoys the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.6 percent, and there are even discussions about repealing the state’s property tax thanks to a surge in new public revenue from responsible energy production.

But the benefits from shale are not limited to those who are lucky enough to have the resources underneath their feet. In fact, IHS CERA found that non-producing states contributed 18 percent of the total US employment generated by natural gas activity and 17 percent of the resulting tax revenue in 2010. And by 2035, revenues and jobs created in these states are expected to double. The reason? Pipelines and drilling rigs require manufactured products and other goods that are all a part of a complex supply chain, each step of which requires American workers and American ingenuity.

As responsible shale development continues, spurring job growth and increasing our national security, oil and natural gas producers are also investing millions of dollars into local communities. According to IHS,

  • “By 2015, unconventional gas activities will contribute nearly $50 billion in federal, state and local government tax and federal royalty revenue.”
  • “Between 2010 and 2035, continued development of unconventional gas will generate a cumulative total of nearly $1.5 trillion in federal, state, and local tax and royalty revenue.”

For many states, this new found revenue stream is keeping school doors open and filling funding gaps for hospitals. In Texas, for example, onshore natural gas development funded six percent of the education and 13 percent of the healthcare budgets.  In Colorado, this production generated $1.6 billion in state and local revenue, equal to 13 percent of the state’s education budget (not to mention while putting thousands of community members back to work).

The numbers don’t lie. More jobs, more public revenues, and stronger American businesses – onshore natural gas development is stimulating America’s economy from the well pad to the steel mill, and everywhere in between.



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