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Image courtesey of the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee.

Booming construction in the Marcellus shale play led to a 40 percent increase in construction jobs and pumped $5 billion into the region a new study by the Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor-Management Committee found.

The study examined 1,326 completed projects in the Marcellus shale area that extends from New York to West Virginia.

The study found that spending in construction and maintenance in the Marcellus area reached $5 billion in 2013, a 61 percent jump over the previous year.

In 2013, the oil and natural gas sectors created 4,600 construction jobs in eight trades and 5,500 craft worker jobs. The report said the upward trend in job creation will continue.

Since 2008, major plant capital and maintenance work in the oil, gas and indirectly related industries generated 35.8 million labor hours with about a 31 percent annual growth rate.

The job growth stimulated by Marcellus projects stands in stark contrast to the nearly 54 percent drop in non-shale related oil and gas construction activity.

Dr. Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, directed the study.

“This study reaffirms that responsible domestic energy production is fueling our economic recovery. We need to fully embrace this energy renaissance and develop the affordable reliable energy all Americans need and want,” American Petroleum Institute’s executive vice president Louis Finkel said.

According to the API, the oil and gas industries support 9.8 million jobs nationwide and account for 8 percent of the U.S. economy.