IHS CERA: Energy Sector Boom a Mixed Blessing for Jobs

The leading lights of the global energy industry are gathered downtown for the annual CERAWeek conference. Organizer IHS CERA used the occasion to roll out a study on the broader economic effects of growth in the energy sector.


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The study revealed that the US energy sector grew nearly three times faster than the US economy as a whole in 2011. It found the jobs added in the sector paid an average of $100,000 a year. But Samantha Gross, co-author of the report, sounded a note of caution.

“Because energy is such an input to the economy, because energy prices make such a difference, you really have to balance your energy policy — thinking about things like employment, but also thinking about prices. Maximizing employment in the energy industry is not likely to be a good strategy for maximizing employment overall, if you end up with a strategy that increases energy prices.”

Gross said the boom in shale gas production has the potential to boost US GDP 1% by 2015, due to lower natural gas prices. By contrast, she said, a sustained $10 increase in the price of oil can cut GDP half a percent over two years, costing 400,000 jobs.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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