What Happened to 160,000 Fracking Jobs? Under Wolf, the Numbers Change

  • Workers handle some heavy equipment at the Shale Training and Education Center, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, April 15, 2015. Photo: Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr

by Marie Cusick | StateImpact Pennsylvania

June 19, 2015

Somehow Pennsylvania lost 160,000 gas industry jobs overnight.

What happened? Did drillers flee at the specter of a new tax on production? Not quite. Although companies have been laying off workers and cutting costs—lackluster market conditions don’t explain this shift.

Instead, it was a decision made under Governor Wolf’s new administration. Last week the state Department of Labor and Industry quietly changed the way it tracks employment in the Marcellus Shale industry.

"Those numbers were a joke," says John Hanger, Wolf’s secretary of planning and policy. "The errors were so glaring, they had to be changed."

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