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Pennsylvania Careers Created by Oil and Gas Industry

Posted on November 18, 2008

The nation’s oil and gas industry is creating many Pennsylvania careers.

According to a recent study, The Economic Impact of the Oil and Gas Industry in Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry is a great direct and indirect contributor to the economy, generating more than $7.1 billion in economic output each year. The study was prepared by the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, at the request of the Marcellus Shale Committee.

According to an article by Market Watch, the study states the oil and gas industry employs 26,500 workers, as well as additional full and part-time jobs in other industries for each job created in the oil and gas industry.

“The oil and gas industry is fueling the economy in Pennsylvania in urban and rural areas and nearly every one of our 67 counties,” Kathryn Zuberbuhler Klaber, executive director of the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania and executive vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, said in the article.

The study itself makes several important points about the state’s oil and gas industries, including:

  • Economic output in excess of $7 billion annually resulting from the direct employment, compensation and output of the oil and gas industry and from the impacts of the supply and distribution chain. This total includes $4.5 billion in direct economic impact linked to drilling, extraction and support activities.
  • Employment of 26,500 individuals in full and part-time jobs. For every oil and gas industry job, an additional 1.52 full and part-time jobs are generated in Pennsylvania. Indirect or induced employment, related to oil and gas, includes industries such as healthcare, legal services and the management of companies and enterprises.
  • Employee compensation of nearly $1 billion annually. Jobs in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry are well paying with an average annual compensation of $63,000. This compares to an average annual compensation of $43,000 for all private sector employment in the state. Compensation also generates an additional $1.88 in spending for every dollar paid to employees. Employees’ purchases of goods and services impact the broader economy.
  • Payments of more than $200 million annually to landowners across Pennsylvania. The oil and gas industry generates wealth in rural Pennsylvania counties through royalty payments to landowners and through land lease payments, which have experienced unprecedented growth in per-acre prices over the last year.
  • Pennsylvania has long had success with the oil and gas industry since the drilling of the world’s first commercial oil well in Titusville in 1859, and western Pennsylvania was the site of the world’s first oil boom.

    “Not only is oil and gas a historically solid industry for Pennsylvania, it’s an industry that’s growing,” Rich Weber of Atlas Energy and co-chair of the Marcellus Shale Committee, said in the article. “The Economy League’s report identifies that from 2000-2007, the number of new oil and gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania has tripled, representing an investment of more than $1.2 billion in this industry.”

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