Thursday, June 23, 2011

Keystone Research Center’s Policy Brief on Marcellus Shale-Related Job Growth

Stephen Herzenberg Responds to Attacks on Keystone Research Center’s Policy Brief on Marcellus Shale-Related Job Growth

HARRISBURG, PA (June 22, 2011) — Keystone Research Center Executive Director Stephen Herzenberg issued the following statement in response to statements from the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania attacking a Keystone policy brief on job creation in Marcellus Shale-related industries:

“In a statement yesterday, Kathryn Klaber, the president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), did not contest the simple factual point of the Keystone Research Center’s policy brief on job creation in Marcellus Shale-related industries. Our policy brief cites a state Department of Labor and Industry report showing that Marcellus-related industries have created less than 10,000 jobs in recent years, not the 48,000 jobs claimed in recent press reports.

“The exaggerated claims of Marcellus-related job creation stem from a confusion between 'new hires,' and 'job growth.' Job growth, by definition, equals new hires minus separations (i.e., quits, firings, and retirements). Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry spokesman Christopher Manlove echoed the basic point of our policy brief in a comment to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: 'The difference, he said, is that new jobs are jobs that didn't exist previously, whereas new hires are jobs that became available due to employees resigning, retiring or being fired.'

"Rather than contesting the main point of our policy brief, most of Klaber’s statement combines information that was also presented in our brief (on regional employment changes in Marcellus-related industries) and other information on Marcellus industries that do not relate to the industry’s impact on Pennsylvania employment.

"On the employment issue, the MSC statement also refers to 'the ancillary employment impacts cascading through businesses across the Commonwealth.' No source or data are presented to support the claim of these 'ancillary employment impacts.' As the June edition of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry's Marcellus Shale Fast Facts and our brief point out, employment in Marcellus Ancillary industries declined by 3,618 between the fourth quarter of 2007 and the fourth quarter of 2010.

"Republican Party of Pennsylvania Executive Director Mike Barley put out a statement today that repeats the MSC statement with a new introduction. In it, Barley repeats the claim that 'the Marcellus industry has created 48,000 jobs.' As we have explained above and as the Department of Labor and Industry makes clear in its Marcellus Shale Fast Facts, this is not accurate.

"Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, 'Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.' While perspectives will differ on the appropriate policy response to the facts on the impact of Marcellus drilling on Pennsylvania, we think it is unfortunate that the Shale Coalition and Mr. Barley can’t acknowledge that jobs and new hires are not the same, and present their interpretation of the facts in a civil way. Rather than name calling, civil discourse, using facts and logic, can help Pennsylvania maximize the economic benefits and minimize the environmental damage and risks of Marcellus drilling.”

The Keystone Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that promotes a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania economy. Learn more:

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