America's oil and natural gas industry supports 9.2 million men and women across the United States in a wide range of highly skilled, well-paying professions. In fact, oil and natural gas industry exploration and production wages are more than double the national average. An analysis of API's public data, independent research and corporate annual reports finds that the industry distributed $176 billion in wages paid to U.S. employees, plus benefits and payments to oil and natural gas leaseholders.
Oil and natural gas companies invest in cutting-edge technology and offer fulfilling careers to the next generation of American engineers, geophysicists, chemists, earth scientists, geologists, climate experts and explorers. These individuals, working with the best technologies, will help find and recover oil and natural gas here and abroad and help secure America's energy future. In addition, the industry employs professionals that most people don't normally associate with our industry, such as botanists and marine biologists, even zoologists and veterinarians.
With the right government policies in place, the oil and natural gas industry can create more American jobs that can help grow the U.S. economy, generate substantial new revenues for government and provide greater energy security for our nation.
In fact, with increased access to U.S. oil and gas resources we can create 1 million new jobs in the next ten years alone. To put that in perspective, that would provide enough jobs for nearly every citizen of Rhode Island. A recent study by Wood Mackenzie found that by 2030, nearly 1.4 million new jobs could be added through policies which encourage development of America's oil and natural resources, and facilitate Canadian oil sands production through the development of Keystone XL and other related piplines. A few examples are as follows:
- Development of the Marcellus Shale alone could create 160,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, 20,000 jobs in New York and 30,000 jobs in West Virginia by 2015.
- The opening of Florida to exploration and development could result in up to 100,000 new Florida jobs by 2016--just with increased access to federal areas within the Gulf of Mexico.
- U.S. State Department approval of the Keystone XL pipeline could generate nearly 85,000 jobs by 2020
To learn more about the Wood Mackenzie study and view state specific job creation numbers, view this interactive job creation map.