Ohio’s Fracking Boom Has Not Affected Job Rate: Report

aka “Ohio Utica Shale Region Monitor”
Cleveland State University, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

[Grist] In northeastern Ohio, where a fracking boom kicked off 2011, there was no more jobs growth last year than there was in the state’s unfracked western and southern regions.

That’s the conclusion of a new report [PDF] published by Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. The report was not peer-reviewed.

The study found that overall spending in counties with the richest shale reserves increased by 21.1 percent in 2012, compared with a 6.4 percent increase in counties where no fracking is underway. The more shale buried beneath a county, the more money is likely to be spent there in the era of fracking, according to the study’s findings.

But that economic bounce did not translate to jobs growth. In shale-rich counties, employment grew by 1.4 percent between 2011 and 2012. In fracker-free counties, employment grew by 1.3 percent.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says that employment in well drilling, pipeline construction, and similar work was up last year. So what’s going on? It’s impossible to tell from the report, but it has been speculated that fracking could be killing jobs in other sectors, such as tourism and farming…


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