How Much Higher Would Unemployment Be Without the Energy Boom?

Oct 5, 2012

Photographer: Eddie Seal/Bloomberg.

It’s good to hear that America’s energy sector was mentioned prominently in Wednesday night's Presidential debate. It’s important to be reminded that this sector is the highlight of an otherwise dreary economy.

Look at what this boom has accomplished so far. Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute posted a chart plotting the growth in oil and gas jobs against all non-farm payrolls.

In the last year alone, we’ve seen a nearly 12% increase in the number of oil and gas jobs. And here's the kicker, Moody’s Analytics estimates that out of the 2.7 million jobs created since 2002, over 1 million are because of oil and natural gas.

It's no wonder that 71% of voters support increased development.

Two questions need to be asked:

  • How much higher would unemployment be without the oil and gas boom?
  • How many more jobs would have been created if oil and natural gas production hadn't decreased on federal lands as has under this administration?

It's true that the energy sector will not fill the jobs gap, but it’s playing a critical role in putting people back to work all over the country. We need better policies that build on this progress and continue putting more people back to work.

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