New Report: Ohio Sees 96 Percent Increase in Oil and Gas Jobs

The State of Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) recently issued its Quarterly Economic Trends for Ohio Oil and Gas Industries report, which included employment statistics from 2011 Q1 to 2015 Q2. According to the state employment and wages records, shale development accounts for a 96 percent increase in direct shale-related jobs in Ohio.

In fact, as this chart shows, since 2011, each year shale pumped (on average) 183, 936 jobs into the Buckeye State.

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The ancillary shale-related industry, (approximately 30 identified industries that support shale activities) also increased by 8 percent, adding thousands of jobs as well.

These staggering statistics compelled Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director, Cynthia Dungey to say:

“Oil and gas drilling has only recently begun to accelerate in Ohio, and already many families and communities have begun to see a positive impact. Ohio is fortunate to have this natural resource that can provide good jobs for families and reinvigorate many of our communities, especially those in the eastern part of the state.”

Shale Brings New Business Establishments

With this many jobs, it’s not surprising that business establishments in Ohio received a boost as well. According to the report, shale related businesses establishments grew over 42 percent since 2011, thanks to demand brought directly from fracking.

Last year, Ohio received the largest boost yet, with 13, 798 businesses being brought into the state. As exciting as this news is, we know that the real economic drivers are just starting in Ohio, as EID has reported many times, the real job growth is yet to come. The state’s report also echoed our analysis, as last year’s numbers are just now starting to show the impact from pipeline construction, compressor stations, and natural gas fired power plants, as well as a host of other ancillary shale-related industry needs.

Shale Jobs Pay 38 Percent More Than Average Ohio Job

Shale jobs pay (on average) $75,071, where the average wage for all Ohio industries is $46, 393. In other words, those who work in shale-related jobs earn $28,678, or 38 percent more than any other (average) job in Ohio.

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Shale Economic Impact Benefits Entire State, Not Just “Shale” Counties

EID reported last year that shale development was in fact driving unemployment down throughout the state.  Shale counties saw a 66 percent decline in total unemployment since 2010, which contributed largely to the overall decrease in the state’s unemployment.  A year later, this new report from ODJFS confirms our analysis.

As the graph below shows, the ancillary shale-related industries that received a lot of benefits from oil and natural gas development are not in the Northeast or Southeast region of the state. These industries are located in the Central region of the state, where there has not been a surge of drilling activity or pipeline construction. This reality proves that while shale production may be occurring in the southeastern portion of the state, the staggering natural gas production coming from “shale counties” benefits all of Ohio, not just a handful of counties where drilling activities are taking place.

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Preparing for the Jobs of Tomorrow

The report also highlighted the vast employer demand from the oil and natural gas industry. In fact, Ohio had 277,416 jobs posted online over the past few months, which was an increase of 24,424 from the same period of time in 2014. In addition to apprenticeship training programs, community colleges, and programming specific to industry needs, new Utica Shale Academies have started in high schools around the state. The Utica Shale Academy uses online and in-classroom teaching to train students for various aspects of oil and gas work.

Recently, EID had a chance to speak to a group of students about these amazing opportunities in Belmont County. Austin Sadler, one of the first graduates of the Utica Shale Academy landed a local job directly out of school, with Express Energy Services. This graduate incurred no debt for his training/college and is now gainfully employed locally by the oil and gas industry. As Sadler explained,

“I really didn’t know what I was going to do in my future, so I thought I’d give (Utica Shale Academy) a try, and I really enjoyed my experience. I am very excited to start working in this industry and for the opportunities ahead of me because there are so many places to advance and different directions to go.”

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Economic stimulus, of course, brings more jobs, and with it more tax revenue for state and local governments as well. For Monroe County, for example, that has meant an increase in tax revenue of over 340 percent! By all measures, there’s simply no denying that Ohio’s Utica shale development continues to be “pretty amazing”.

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