Washington County in southwestern Pennsylvania has been named the third highest county in the country in job growth, due mostly to Marcellus Shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing. Not only that, but residents have seen an average increase of 8.8 percent in their wages.
Described as "unequaled in job growth" in southwestern Pennsylvania and as "the epicenter of this region’s growth," Washington County has shrugged off the nation’s sluggish economy in recent years, mostly due to the surge of the Marcellus Shale.
That was the message county commissioners projected last week at a news conference, where they announced that the county had been named third highest in the nation in job growth and saw investments totaling $279 million in public and private development projects during the past five years.
"Washington County’s economy continues to expand and outperform the southwestern Pennsylvania region in terms of both economic development projects and job creation," Commissioner Larry Maggi said during the news conference at the new, $30 million Range Resources regional headquarters in Southpointe II in Cecil.
The local employment data, provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Statistics, showed a job growth rate of 4.3 percent, Mr. Maggi said, translating into about 750 new workers in the energy sector and another 900 new jobs in the professional services and business industries.
"Our residents have seen an increase of 8.8 percent in their average weekly wages as well," Mr. Maggi said.*
*Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Mar 1, 2012) – In the wake of the shale rush Washington County experiencing high rate of job growth