|Bloomberg graphic: Top coal producing states|
vs. states with most coal jobs
Monday, April 10, 2017
Coal industry seeing modest growth in jobs, but is it enough for a revival?
The coal industry, has been mechanizing, automating and losing jobs for decades, saw a modest gain recently, notes Justin Fox of Bloomberg News. The industry has gained 1,700 jobs since September, and added 100 jobs in March, growing to 50,300. While the numbers are positive, they aren't big enough to signal a resurgence of coal, Fox writes. (Bloomberg chart: Seasonally adjusted employment in coal mining)
Trump's decision to roll back Obama administration regulations "will have some positive effect on coal mining employment," Fox writes. "The question is how much, and whether it's worth it. The modest uptick in mining jobs since September of course predates the change, and seems to have a lot to do with a rebound in the price of metallurgical coal used in steelmaking, which is mined mainly in Appalachia. The vast majority of U.S. coal production goes to electricity production, and by far the largest share of that comes from Wyoming, where mining is much less labor-intensive."