Lawrence Solomon: Shale gas emerging as one of world’s biggest job creators

(June 1, 2011) Shale gas, the natural gas obtained from fracturing shale rock, is emerging as one of the biggest job producers in the world, if startling new figures from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry are any indication.

According to the department, shale gas – the world’s fastest growing energy industry – has produced 48,000 jobs since the 4th quarter of 2009 from the Marcellus play alone, raising the total number of Marcellus-related jobs to 141,000, 70% of which are in Pennsylvania. Marcellus now accounts for almost 3% of Pennsylvania’s workforce.  Shale gas jobs pay well and the rate of growth in jobs is accelerating – 9,000 new hires in the first quarter of 2011.

Shale gas, still in its infancy, will be exploding in growth as regions around the world begin to capitalize on this new industry’s potential. Every populated continent in the world has shale gas – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and both Americas.

To see specific areas of the world capable of capitalizing on the shale gas revolution, click here.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and Urban Renaissance Institute. LawrenceSolomon@nextcity.com.

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