ANGA-commissioned study cites gas industry's economic contributions

The US natural gas industry supports nearly 3 million American jobs, providing a significant positive impact to the general economy, a study commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance concluded.

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 22 -- The US natural gas industry supports nearly 3 million American jobs, providing a significant positive impact to the general economy, a study commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance concluded.

The study, “The Contributions of the Natural Gas Industry to the US National and State Economies,” by IHS Global Insight was the first ever to separate the gas industry’s US economic impact from that of the domestic oil industry, ANGA officials said at a Sept. 17 briefing.

It found that the gas industry contributed $385 billion to the domestic economy in 2008 and more than $180 billion in labor income alone, they noted.

“The influence of the natural gas industry on the economy is spread throughout the continental United States,” the report said. “In 2008, more than 30 states had at least 10,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs related to natural gas.”

It said that 2.8 million jobs could be attributed to the gas industry, more than 622,000 of the directly, while another 2.2 million positions were either indirectly related or induced by the industry’s economic impact. The number of jobs increased 17% from 2006 to 2008, with direct employment climbing by more than 100,000 jobs and total employment increase by more than 400,000, it said.

The American Petroleum Institute released a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers on Sept. 9 which found that the US oil and gas industry supports more than 9 million American jobs and contributed more than $1 trillion, or 7.5%, to the gross domestic product in 2007, the most recent year for which data were available.

By comparison, an October 2008 report which Global Insight produced for the US Conference of Mayors found a total of 127,246 US renewable power generation jobs, ANGA indicated. It said that a February 2009 report by the National Mining Association found that the coal industry employs 122,930 people directly and supports 555,650 other jobs, while the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition has said that there are 100,000 nuclear jobs in the country.

“The natural gas industry already provides millions of jobs to Americans, and as Congress seeks solutions to climate change and energy security, it is critical to [provide further incentives for gas], a low-emission fuel source of which the US has a 100-year supply, to help carry America into a new, green, energy independent future,” ANGA Chairman David A. Trice said. The group represents 28 of the leading US independent gas producers.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Economics & Markets