At the end of September, I wrote about the job-producing potential of the expansion of shale gas in a blog about Utica Shale. In that blog, I focused, not just on the direct impact of the drilling and extraction industry, but on the impact of shale gas on related industries like the chemical industry.
On Friday, NPR made clear the impact of shale gas on a very directly related industry, steel. In its story, Gas Drilling Boom Brings New Life To Steel Industry, NPR described the effect on Youngstown Ohio. “The Brier Hill neighborhood, northwest of downtown Youngstown, has been relatively quiet for the past few decades since the huge steel mills there shut down. But today it’s noisy again, with trains passing each other on the tracks and heavy construction under way.”
A European company, Vallourec, is investing $650 million in the construction of a seamless pipe mill that is designed to produce the pipe required for hydraulic fracking. The new plant has the potential to hire 350 new full-time employees. The NPR story goes onto point to the impact in Pennsylvania of shale gas on economic prosperity. Pennsylvania is at the heart of Marcellus Shale. According to NPR, the Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor reports that new hires have in core-related industries have “spiked from 5,501 in 2008 to 11,913 this year. ‘This is almost 117 percent growth,’ says Sue Mukherjee, director of the agency’s Center for Workforce Information and Analysis. Mukherjee says 71 percent of the new hires have been Pennsylvania residents and the jobs pay well — $76,000 a year, on average.”