The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Study: Industry Supports 10.3 Million U.S. Jobs

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 1, 2017

The United States leads the world in natural gas and oil production, thanks to vast energy reserves and advanced technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, and also the work of natural gas, oil and refining sectors that supply Americans’ daily needs and increase our security while boosting the broader economy and advancing climate goals.

This economic heft is clear in a new PwC study showing that the natural gas and oil industry supported 10.3 million U.S. jobs in 2015 – up 500,000 since 2011– while generating both directly and indirectly $1.3 trillion to the national economy or about 7.6 percent of U.S. GDP. Importantly, industry’s economic lift extends to all 50 states, PwC found, energy producers and non-producers.


API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

“This study validates the role of the natural gas and oil industry in growing the U.S. economy and supporting more than 10 million workers from coast-to-coast. Natural gas and oil touches virtually every facet of our life – from heating our homes and fueling transportation to life-saving medical devices and cosmetics at the drug store. This study is further proof of the positive impact that U.S. resources have on workers and communities across the nation.”

Other key highlights from the study, commissioned by API, which quantifies industry’s operational impact and capital investment impacts:

  • Total jobs supported accounted for 5.6 percent of total U.S. employment. That includes direct industry jobs – as well as indirect jobs supported by industry’s supply chain and induced jobs that result from household spending of labor and proprietor’s income earned either directly or indirectly from the natural gas and oil industry’s spending.
  • Nationally, each direct natural gas and oil industry job support an additional 2.7 jobs elsewhere in the U.S. economy in 2015.
  • Counting direct, indirect and induced impacts, industry’s total impact on labor income was $714 billion, or 6.7 percent of national labor income in 2015.

In the states and the District of Columbia, industry’s jobs impact ranged from a low of 11,800 in D.C. to nearly 2 million in Texas in 2015. Other top states, measured by jobs directly and indirectly attributable to industry operations were California, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. A sampling of state reaction to the PwC numbers:

North Carolina:

“North Carolina consumers have benefited from abundant and affordable supplies of American produced oil and natural gas. In addition to lowered energy costs, oil and natural gas have fueled the state's economy by supporting 141,500 jobs and stimulating more than $13 billion in economic activity.” – David McGowan, North Carolina Petroleum Council


“Pennsylvania is an epicenter of America’s energy renaissance. Supporting 322,600 jobs in Pennsylvania, the oil and natural gas industry continues to be an important part of the state’s economy as a whole. Under pro-growth energy policies, not punitive taxes and regulations, the industry will have the opportunity to grow and benefit generations to come.” – Stephanie Catarino Wissman, API Pennsylvania


“The benefits Ohio’s oil and natural gas industry provides the state are immense. Industry jobs within and throughout the supply chain, in addition to billions of dollars in value added to all sectors of the state’s economy as a result of oil and natural gas development, are a bright spot for all Ohioans.” – Christian Zeigler, API Ohio


“There are over 98,000 hard working men and women working directly or indirectly in the oil and natural gas industry in Wisconsin. Whether it is refining petroleum products, mining the silica sand used in the production of crude oil and natural gas, or building crucial pipeline infrastructures, these workers are committed to providing Wisconsin consumers with their energy needs.” – Erin Roth, Wisconsin Petroleum Council

America’s natural gas and oil industry is playing a big role in advancing the country’s economy, nationally and in the states, while making the U.S. more energy secure and supporting climate progress. Sustaining and growing the energy renaissance requires the right policies and actions to safely and fully harness America’s energy wealth. Gerard, in an E&E TV interview:

“The United States is the leader in energy production on a global scale. … What that’s done is it has allowed us to become more self-sufficient, more energy secure as a nation. … When we focus on energy, we’re trying to encourage everyone together and develop a comprehensive policy that addresses the associated issues and therefore benefits the American public and the American consumer.”


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.