The shale industry remains phenomenally controversial. Not a week goes by without a study proving or disproving whether hydraulic fracking of the sedimentary rock poses dangers to area residents — and then is immediately contested by the opposing side. Without acknowledging or accepting which side is correct (we believe both sides have strong cases), we wanted to present the economic effects the booming Marcellus shale resource industry has had on Pennsylvania’s economy.
Penn State has set up a website devoted entirely to the Marcellus, and we pulled the most interesting charts from their compiled reports.
Employment in the industry continues to be explosive
Month-over-month employment growth statewide was +0.1%, while year-over-year was +0.8%. In the industry,
month-over-month employment growth was +1.3%, while year-over year growth was +20.7%.
In some regions growing by hundreds of orders of magnitude
And the jobs available are pretty diverse
The industry requires almost as many lawyers as landmen. (CDL stands for jobs
requiring commercial driver’s licenses.)
Most are lucrative
The average wage across all Pennsylvania industries for 2010Q4 through 2011Q3 was $47,233. The average wage
in the core industries was approximately $80,328; the average wage in the ancillary industries was approximately $64,060.
Highly lucrative, in fact, given the average age of a shale worker
For instance, the shale development areas of Pennsylvania just south of New York have workforces that are
half as young as the rest of the state’s workforce. Utility System Construction workers are 24.3% 14-24 year-olds.
Local businesses are booming
As in, $1 billion worth of additional output, booming
The industry has flooded the state with sales tax revenue
And pumped up municipal tax bases
But as rents have increased, local low-income residents have been squeezed
“Prior to Marcellus, [independent] working poor had sufficient incomes to pay the low rents typical of these
small town communities. With rents doubling and tripling, they have lost their economic self-sufficiency and
been forced to look for assistance.”
Business Insider, 29 July 2012