Pittsburgh Economy Surged in 2010 Due Mostly to Marcellus Shale Drilling

It seems everywhere high volume hydraulic fracturing (for either gas or oil) happens in a big way, the economy of that region surges. Recently we told you about the Bakken Oil fields of North Dakota (see here) which has led to the lowest unemployment rates of any state the country. The latest example of the benefits of “fracking” is Pittsburgh, which has resurged precisely because of natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale:

The Pittsburgh region is coming back strong with 20,187 sustained jobs and $1.5 billion in capital investment, according to an annual economic report released by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Partnership.

Of those jobs, 11,442 were new jobs, a 66 % increase over 2009. 

The Washington, D.C. think tank, The Brookings Institution, would concur. On Tuesday, Brookings ranked the Pittsburgh region as the eighth-strongest economy among 100 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas based on its strength through the recession.

The PRA "Wins Report," which tallies the number of economic development deals that transpired in a year as reported by leaders and companies across the 10-country region, offers a positive picture of economic growth. The number of deals in 2010 increased from 2009, posting 272 "wins" compared to 190 "wins" in 2009.

Energy topped the list as a key driver of the economy in 2010, with a total of 77 wins, which came in well above the 2009 total of 44. Marcellus Shale play-related investment was the biggest driver. Of the 32 natural-resources-related investments announced in 2010, 88% involved the expansions of energy-related businesses.*

*Pop City (Mar 16, 2011) – We’re back! Pittsburgh rebounds with 20,000+ jobs and billions invested, Brookings Institute concurs

  • Beth

    Perhaps you shouldn’t say that wherever it happens in a big way the economy surges. Pennsylvania’s Auditor General, Jack Wagner, said of this year’s budget process that it is “one of the greatest fiscal crises in state history.” I’m not sure the two statements can live together comfortably. The Governor of PA also projects a state deficit of 4 Billion. Hmmmm….someone forgot to send the memo about surging economies to the people who actually live in PA and govern it. Go figure.

    Among the cuts like 500 state workers, pay freezes for all state employees, millions cut from education and community economic development, the budget will also include a cut 7 million from their Dept. of Environmental Protection. Now…..isn’t that conveeeeeeenient….

    Some surge their having.

  • Perhaps you have a point there Beth. The welfare state we’ve created in this county has such an enormous appetite, even shale gas drilling can’t generate enough cash to satisfy everyone that has their hand out. 🙂

  • Carol

    Maybe those 500 state workers could find a job in the gas and oil industry but I’m not sure they would be able to work the required hours. This industry requires 60 -80+ hours per week, not 37.5 hours