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U.S. Census Bureau: mining is fastest-growing sector of economy

Gerald Herb cleans out the dirty tanks at a drill site in Kingsley, Pa. for Cabot Oil & Gas.  The operation at the drilling site is 24 hours a day, seven days a week for about 15 to 18 days.

Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Nationally, the number of oil and gas jobs increased by 27 percent between 2007 and 2012.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction are the fastest-growing sectors of the nation’s economy, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The federal agency publishes an economic census every five years. This report examines national data from the year 2012. The previous economic census looked at 2007– before the recession hit.
“In that five year period, this sector grew by 26.4 percent,” says Census Bureau statistician Andrew Hait. “More than half of that big increase in that entire sector was in the oil and gas sub-sector.”
The report also shows a 27 percent increase in the number of oil and gas jobs nationally– 191,580 for the year 2012.
“There were about 41,000 more people working in the oil and gas industry in 2012 than there were in 2007,” says Hait.
The most recent numbers from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry show approximately 30,000 people working in the six “core” oil and gas industries the state counts.
The U.S. mining sector also showed the highest percent increase in the value of its products, according to the Census Bureau.
The sector is up about 33 percent– or about $141.6 billion.
“When we look at that increase, the lion’s share of that is in the oil and gas extraction sub-sector,” says Hait. “We’re curious to see how this increase was distributed. We know Pennsylvania, Texas, Oklahoma and other states are very strong in this industry.”
Later this year the Census Bureau plans to begin releasing a series of more detailed economic reports– broken down by state, county, and city.

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