Fast-growing mining and oil & gas industries, and the huge number of supply-chain jobs they create – by Joshua Wright (New Geography – September 18, 2013)

Please note this is a dated article, but very interesting – Stan Sudol

The fastest-growing industry in the U.S since 2010 isn’t large or well-known. In fact, nearly half of the estimated 5,100 jobs in support activities for metal mining are located in one state: Nevada. Nonetheless, employment in this niche mining industry has ballooned 53% since 2010, and it creates a huge number of supply-chain jobs in other parts of the economy.

Four of the five fastest-growing industries from 2010-2013, based on EMSI’s 2013.2 employment dataset, are related in some form to mining and oil & gas. These industries (e.g., oil & gas pipeline construction and support activities for oil & gas operations) have been carried by the boom in oil and natural gas production in pockets of the U.S., from North Dakota to Pennsylvania to Texas. And their growth has sparked new jobs in other sectors.

This is especially the case for support activities for metal mining. For every job in this industry, another 6.1 supply-chain jobs are created elsewhere. That means the tiny industry accounts for a much more significant 36,180 jobs in all. (Note: This does not count the induced effects that come when employees and other income claimants spend what they make on food, clothes, and other goods and services.)

Mining and similar extraction-based industries take a lot of equipment and materials to operate, so their growth is felt by a wide variety of suppliers. Altogether, the nine mining and oil & gas industries highlighted above — all of which have grown at least 28% since 2010 — account for 644,165 estimated jobs.

And when you consider the spin-off jobs in their supply chain, the employment number more than doubles to 1,380,376. (As reader Gene Hayward calculated, when you add the direct and supply-chain jobs created since 2010, these nine industries account for nearly 600,000 total jobs created in three-plus years. Keep in mind EMSI’s 2013 job numbers are estimates and are based on historic and projected data).

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