Oil & Gas Employment Is the Highest Since 1988
The Department of Energy's weekly report last week on the oil and gas industry was filled with good news. Although it is well known that Fracking technology and horizontal drilling have revolutionized the gas industry, it is not widely recognized that it is transforming the oil industry as well. Since Fracking began opening up "tight" oil deposits in North Dakota' Bakken Shale in 2005, domestic oil production has reversed a decline that began in the 1970s, rising from around 5 million barrels per day (bbd) to 6.8 mbbd, an increase of 36 percent. (Production just barely grazed 10 million bbd in 1970 before beginning to decline.) Imports also fell below 40 percent in October for the time since 1992. But most encouraging has been the rise in employment in the oil and gas industry. An average of 70 new jobs per day has been added over the last two years, bringing total employment to 195,000, the highest level since 1988. As Mark Perry reports on Seeking Alpha, North Dakota boasts ten counties with jobless rates below 2 percent, most of them in the oil-rich region western part of the state. In the heart of the Bakken region, unemployment is 0.7 percent, the lowest rate in the country. Shale oil and gas are producing a tremendous boom in the midst of an otherwise lackluster economy.