Of the 25 U.S. counties that have lost the most coal jobs since 2011, 17 are in Kentucky and West Virginia. Boone County, West Virginia has suffered the most losses, falling from an average of 4,608 at the end of 2011 to 1,439 at the end of 2015. Pike County, Kentucky, lost 1,837 mining jobs.
Central Appalachia has lost 18.6 percent of its coal jobs since the end of 2014, from an average of 22,360 at the end of 2014 to 17,175 at the end of 2015, reports SNL Energy. Southern Appalachia has lost 14.55 percent, Northern Appalachia 13.65 percent and the Illinois Basin 10.7 percent. From the end of 2011 to the end of 2015, the average number of U.S. coal jobs dropped from 93,735 to 61,024, with 12,734 of those losses since the end of 2014. "A decline in production has been less steady, but fourth-quarter 2015 production of 207.4 million tons of coal is the lowest that production has hit yet after sliding off a near-term high of 282.5 million tons in the fourth quarter of 2011." (Read more)