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Report Finds Marcellus Employs Nearly 232K in Pennsylvania

Industries dependent on the Marcellus Shale employed nearly 232,000 workers in Pennsylvania during 1Q2013, according to a monthly report by the state Department of Labor & Industry's Center for Workforce Information & Analysis (CWIA).

According to a 10-page report released on Oct. 1, during a four-year period -- from 1Q2009 to 1Q2013, the latter being the most recent quarter with employment type figures available -- employment in the "core" industries of the Marcellus increased 162.1%, with 17,414 new jobs created. During the same time frame, ancillary jobs rose 7.0% (13,352 jobs) and all jobs climbed 1.2% (63,078).

Total employment for all Marcellus Shale-related industries was 231,969 for 1Q2013.

"The safe development of clean-burning shale gas continues to be a key cog in Pennsylvania's economy, helping to create literally tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, especially along the robust supply chain, at a time when jobs are needed most," Marcellus Shale Coalition spokesman Travis Windle told NGI's Shale Daily on Tuesday.

"That said, a common sense and predictable regulatory framework is crucial to ensuring that these numbers, and continued investment, remain strong."

Six industries are considered "core" to the Marcellus by CWIA: crude petroleum and natural gas extraction; natural gas liquid extraction; drilling oil and gas wells; support activities for oil and gas operations; oil and gas pipeline and related structures construction; and pipeline transportation of natural gas. Another 30 industries are classified as ancillary.

There were 14,109 total business establishments related to the Marcellus during 1Q2013, the CWIA found. The agency said 1,114 business establishments (347 core, 767 ancillary) were added to the state from 1Q2009 to 1Q2013, equating to a 45.2% increase in core industries and a 6.3% increase in ancillary industries. By comparison, during the same time frame Pennsylvania saw a 1.6% growth rate for all industries in the state.

Wages were also markedly higher for Marcellus-related jobs. According to data from the state's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, from 2Q2012 to 1Q2013, the average core Marcellus job paid $83,305 a year, while ancillary Marcellus jobs paid $65,045. By comparison, the average wage across all industries in the state during that time frame was $48,511.

Jobs in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction had the highest average wage for a core industry, at $110,119 annually. Meanwhile, the highest-paying ancillary job was industrial gas manufacturing, which paid $127,737 a year.

The Marcellus' core and ancillary industries have also been adding jobs at a faster clip than other industries not related to shale. The core industries hired 35.0% more workers during 2Q2013, compared to the preceding second quarter. Also, the new hire rate was 17.9% higher in 2Q2013 than in 2Q2012. By comparison, statewide new hires in all industries increased 8.7% during the two second quarters.

During 2Q2013, the most recent quarter for information on new hires, support activities for oil and gas operations added 804 jobs, making it the highest among core jobs to do so. Meanwhile, engineering services added 5,241 jobs during the quarter, the highest among ancillary jobs.

Jobs in the oil and gas pipeline and related structures field, a core area, rose 278.4% over a three-year period, from 2Q2012 to 2Q2013. During the same time frame, oil and gas field machinery and equipment jobs, an ancillary area, rose 333.3%.

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