11 Incredible Charts On Pennsylvania's Booming Shale Energy Industry


The shale industry remains phenomenally controversial. Not a week goes by without a study proving or disproving whether hydraulic fracking of the sedimentary rock poses dangers to area residents — and then is immediately contested by the opposing side.

Without acknowledging or accepting which side is correct (we believe both sides have strong cases), we wanted to present the economic effects the booming Marcellus shale resource industry has had on Pennsylvania’s economy. 

Penn State has set up a website devoted entirely to the Marcellus, and we pulled the most interesting charts from their compiled reports. 

Employment in the industry continues to be explosive

Month-over-month employment growth statewide was +0.1%, while year-over-year was +0.8%. In the industry, month-over-month employment growth was +1.3%, while year-over year growth was +20.7%.

Source: marcellus.psu.edu

In some regions growing by hundreds of orders of magnitude

And the jobs available are pretty diverse

The industry requires almost as many lawyers as landmen. (CDL stands for jobs requiring commercial driver's licenses.)

Source: marcellus.psu.edu

Most are lucrative

The average wage across all Pennsylvania industries for 2010Q4 through 2011Q3 was $47,233. The average wage in the core industries was approximately $80,328; the average wage in the ancillary industries was approximately $64,060.

Source: marcellus.psu.edu

Highly lucrative, in fact, given the average age of a shale worker

For instance, the shale development areas of Pennsylvania just south of New York have workforces that are half as young as the rest of the state's workforce. Utility System Construction workers are 24.3% 14-24 year-olds.

Source: marcellus.psu.edu

Local businesses are booming

As in, $1 billion worth of additional output, booming

The industry has flooded the state with sales tax revenue

Lifted property values

And pumped up municipal tax bases

But as rents have increased, local low-income residents have been squeezed

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