This opinion piece presents the opinions of the author.
If you want to talk about job growth, reducing unemployment in this country, and providing the next generation with a stable foundation of career choices that pay more than the average, you need look no further than the energy industry.
North Dakota boasts the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Texas is outpacing the United States as a whole in job growth. Pennsylvania added 1,300 manufacturing jobs in March alone. In 2000, the population of Midland, Texas was about 95,000. City leaders expect it to jump to 200,000 in the next 15 years.
What do these places have in common besides enviable job numbers and increasing household incomes? Oil and natural gas exploration.
The domestic energy boom is fueling a jobs boom, not just in traditional oil states like Texas and Oklahoma, but in the most unlikely places such as North Dakota, and the “Rust Belt” states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.
But if some well-meaning, but mis-informed activists get their way, all these jobs could disappear.
The stakes are high. Employment in the oil and gas sector has jumped by 40 percent since 2007. Other private-sector employment, meanwhile, has grown at a sluggish one percent since then. The rapid growth of energy jobs has contributed to a better-than-expected April jobs report and is revitalizing communities across the nation.
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