Magazine article Amber Waves

Natural Gas Extraction Creates Local Jobs in the Short Term

Magazine article Amber Waves

Natural Gas Extraction Creates Local Jobs in the Short Term

Article excerpt

Advances in technology have improved the feasibility and profitability of extracting natural gas from rock formations like shale. Drilling companies access gas trapped in such formations, also known as unconventional gas, through hydraulic fracturing - a method of cracking rock by injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing claim that it can contaminate groundwater. Proponents argue that developing unconventional gas formations is needed to increase domestic energy production, and historic highs of natural gas withdrawals in the U.S. indicate that it has. Proponents also highlight the jobs created from gas development, yet no peer-reviewed studies have estimated the number of jobs created from gas extraction using actual county-level employment data.

The three Western States of Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming saw large increases in gas production in the 2000s, most of which came from unconventional sources. Not all counties in each State were close enough to the activity to benefit economically from the boom. From 1999 to 2007, counties participating in the boom saw a larger percent increase in employment, wage and salary income, and median household income and a larger decrease in the poverty rate than counties not participating.

More rigorous analysis that accounts for the effects of other factors that could have caused boom and nonboom counties to grow at different rates over the period confirms that boom counties experienced greater employment and income growth than nonboom counties, holding other factors constant. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.