- State News
- Gas Industry
Designed to Deceive
By jon bogle
June 7, 2011
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s “Marcellus Shale Fast Facts” is designed to deceive by giving the illusion that the Marcellus gas industry has produced several times more jobs than L&I's own statistics indicate. Our tax-funded state agency is being used as a public relations and advocacy arm of the Marcellus industry.
We have grown accustomed to the Marcellus Shale Coalition regaling us with wildly exaggerated claims of the jobs, taxes, and economic development from gas drilling.
Shockingly, their new exaggerations come directly from the current Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s web page. This new product of the Corbett administration is meant to give cover to the meager reality of Marcellus job creation.
Labor and Industry states: “Marcellus Shale industries total employment is 141,000…”
Marcellus Shale Coalition spins: “According to data presented by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to the Governor’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission, there are some 141,000 employees statewide in Marcellus Shale and related industries…”
FACT: This quoted figure of 141,000 is a composite of the employment in the core drilling and pipeline industries and ancillary industries. Only a small number of enterprises and workers in the ancillary industries are employed in Marcellus' work.
In 2010 there were 18,000 employees in the six industrial categories that make up the core drilling and pipe line workers. Not all of these, however, work in the Marcellus play.Pennsylvania’s “traditional” vertical gas well industry has been claimed as Marcellus numbers. Pennsylvania has over 50,000 producing gas wells, second only to Texas, drilled by this native industry.
The 21 industrial categories that make up the ancillary industries have almost 123,000 employees. These are statewide figures and only a small number of the employees in these industries are engaged in Marcellus shale work. Anyone who works in a sewer plant, does environmental consulting, or provides engineering services anywhere in Pennsylvania has been counted as a Marcellus industry worker. We would have to believe, for instance, that the services of almost 37,000 engineers were needed to drill 1440 wells last year.
Labor and Industry’s 10 page document acknowledges this fact, just once in fine print, with this understatement:
While the vast majority of Marcellus Shale employment can be found in these industries, not all establishments in these industries are necessarily involved in Marcellus Shale.
Labor and Industry states: “48,000 new hires within the Marcellus Shale core and ancillary industries”
Marcellus Shale Coalition spins: “nearly 48,000 new hires have been made into Marcellus jobs since the end of 2009, with 9,000 men and women hired in the first quarter of 2011 alone…”
FACT: There are far more “new hires” than there are “new jobs.” From 2008 to 2010, jobs in the core industries grew by 8,685 and the ancillary industries added 1,938, or only 10,623 additional jobs in three years. These “new hires” appear to be mostly replacement workers and then, as stated above, only a minority of those were actually employed in Marcellus activities.
Marcellus Shale Coalition: “more than 70 percent of these new hires call Pennsylvania home…”
FACT: If 70 percent of the 48,000 new hires were from Pennsylvania then approximately 14,000 came from out of state. Since this is more than the job growth in the reported industries, it would appear that some Pennsylvanians were replaced by out of state workers.
CONCLUSION: The Marcellus play accounts for a tiny fraction of the state’s 6.3 million person labor force and its drilling and pipe line core employs primarily out-of-state workers.
Note: All statistics quoted are from PA Dept. of Labor and Industry’s “Marcellus Shale Fast Facts”