Study calls fracking job numbers ‘exaggerated’

Nov 25, 2013

A new report claims that the job impact of shale gas drilling is exaggerated by supporters. The analysis finds only one out of every 795 jobs was shale gas related in the six-state area it focused on.

The study by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative looked at the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale, including New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The report finds that direct shale-related employment fell in the 12 months between the first quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

Credit WBFO News file photo

Steve Herzenberg from the Keystone Research Center in Pennsylvania says claims that 180,000 people in the six states have drilling-related jobs are incorrect.

“There are 33,000 shale-related jobs in this six-state region. We also find that shale jobs are a tiny fraction of all jobs, only about one-eighth of one percent in the six-state region,” said Herzenberg.

Herzenberg says having proper jobs numbers will help state and local governments plan for the effect of hydrofracking.

“Shale-related jobs are less than 10 % of the total number of jobs in all counties. Counties with lots of drilling barely do better in overall job growth performance. Statistical analysis shows no statistical relationship between wells drilled and overall county job growth,” said Herzenberg.

Herzenberg says the Research Collaborative believes drilling supporters have exaggerated the numbers in order to minimize the taxation and regulation of the practice.

Secretary of New York State’s Independent Oil and Gas Association John Holko disagrees with the findings and stands by the original job numbers.

“We’ve never once talked about changing the regulations. The involvement that I think the employment numbers bring to us is a seat to the table we think that we can help the economy. They seem to say by creating value, you want to get away with something, and this industry has never done that,” said Holko.

Holko says he believes the report is biased because it was funded by anti-oil and gas organizations.