Ohio's shale industry could generate 65,000 energy jobs


A recent report produced by academics indicated that Ohio's shale industry could create 65,000 jobs.
A recent report produced by academics indicated that Ohio's shale industry could create 65,000 jobs.

Ohio's shale industry could result in the staffing of more than 65,000 energy jobs and an investment of almost $4.9 billion by 2014, according to a study released by a group of academics on February 29. This robust hiring activity could serve as a boon to employment agencies.

The study also indicated that the industry would pay out an estimated $3.3 billion in wages and benefits during the period, The Columbus Dispatch reports. This income paid to workers would come along with the generation of $433 million in tax revenue for local and state governments.

The research found that in aggregate, the industry would create $1.7 billion for the state's economy in 2012, $5.8 billion in 2013 and almost $10 billion in 2014, according to the news source. The state's gross product could increase by 1 percent, which would be a strong gain from its average figure of 0.6 percent over the last 13 years.

Academics from Marietta College's Department of Petroleum, Cleveland State University and Ohio State University contributed to the creation of the report, according to The Associated Press. The researchers were picked for their expertise in subjects including geology, economics and energy.

The study was commissioned by the Ohio Shale Coalition and was conducted over an eight-month period, the Dayton Business Journal reports. The coalition is composed of development organizations, local chambers of commerce as well as businesses, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The predictions were released between the announcement of the results of two other surveys, the news source reports. One of these studies, conducted by a Ohio State University professor Mark Partridge, predicts that the state's energy industry will add 20,000 new jobs over the next several years.

Another study, released by business consulting firm Kleinhenz & Associates, put forth estimates that were a lot more bold, predicting that the state's energy industry would create 200,000 new positions and draw $14 billion in investment by 2015, according to the media outlet.

Eric Planey, vice president of International Business Attraction for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, told the Dayton Business Journal his opinion that these predictions were less realistic than the estimate of 65,000 new jobs recently asserted by the group of academics.

The studies released by the group of academics and Kleinhenz & Associates "clearly show that expanded crude oil-and natural-gas development has tremendous potential to jump-start Ohio’s economy and bring a significant number of job opportunities to workers throughout the state," Rhonda Reda, executive director of the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program, told The Columbus Dispatch.

"The jobs are coming. We know that," Iryna Lendel, assistant director at the center for economic development at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, told the news source.

The job creation that these market experts have predicted for energy staffing is being observed throughout the state, where the jobless rate has been dropping. Ohio's unemployment rate decreased to 8.1 percent in December from 8.5 percent in November, according to a statement released by Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services on January 20.

The state's nonfarm wage and salaried positions rose by 3,300 to reach 5,106,600 in December, down from 5,109,900 in November. Over the previous 12 months, the number of people who are unemployed has dropped by 91,000 to reach 469,000, from the previous level of 560,000.

Staffing tens of thousands of jobs over the coming years should cause the state's jobless rate to continue to decrease.