Marcellus Drilling Keeps Pumping Out Jobs in PA

Yet more proof that Marcellus gas drilling is a jobs-creating machine in Pennsylvania, this time in western PA’s Butler and Washington counties:

Job creation has been stagnant nationally over the last two years, but two suburban Pittsburgh counties, Butler and Washington, continue to enjoy healthy employment increases, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

From March 2010 to March 2011, both counties’ job numbers grew by nearly identical percentages. Among the country’s 322 most populated counties, Butler County’s number of employed grew by 4.2 percent, and Washington County’s, by 4.3 percent, putting both counties in the top 10 for job growth by percentage.

"Clearly, the huge impact is from the Marcellus play," said Washington County Commissioner J. Bracken Burns Sr., speaking of the Marcellus Shale, the below-ground rock formation that holds the newly accessible natural gas.

"But what people don’t really digest or understand is the multiplier effect. There are law firms that are springing up," he said, and "caterers who are hiring additional people."

Even the farm machinery dealers are hiring. "Every farmer who got a check for half a million dollars [for gas rights] ran out and bought a new tractor."*

*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Oct 1, 2011) – Job growth high in Butler and Washington counties