Pennsylvania Revises Method to Count Shale Jobs

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The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry recently improved the method for calculating the total number of drilling jobs, revising the figure downward by 160,000 jobs. Instead of the 200,000 to 339,000 jobs the industry claims it has created, Labor and Industry now puts the net new number of jobs created by shale development at 59,394 jobs, with only about 23,478 of them directly related to the industry. Altogether, by this estimate, shale drilling accounts for 1% of all Pennsylvania jobs.

Former Gov. Tom Corbett's came under criticism for using "New Hire" figures in a periodic report on the impact of shale drilling in Pennsylvania. New hires are additions to employment but are not the same as jobs created because many new hires replace workers who have quit, been fired or retired. 

The Marcellus Shale has made a positive contribution to recent job growth in Pennsylvania, but gas drillers and industry advocates have used the "New Hire" figures to overstate shale-related job creation in Pennsylvania. The Multi-state Shale Research Collaborative explained the problem with this approach and other efforts to exaggerate shale-related job creation in a November 2013 report titled " Exaggerating Shale Drilling's Employment Impacts: How & Why."