Natural Gas Employs 3.4 Million Americans, New Report Finds
Thu, July 16, 2020
A report from the American Gas Association released last week highlighted the positive economic impacts that natural gas consumption has on both Texas and America. The report, titled “Benefits to the Economy through the Direct Use of Natural Gas,” details how over 3.4 million American jobs were connected to the direct and increasing use of natural gas in 2018.
Natural gas plays a key role in the U.S. economy, supporting thousands of jobs in Texas and beyond
As the title of the report suggests, the increased use of natural gas has equated to impressive employment figures. Natural gas utilities alone employed 138,000 Americans, while the upstream production industry created an estimated 90,000 jobs in 2018. Natural gas also supports a thriving job market for indirect industries. In 2018, natural gas utilities created more than 435,000 indirect jobs, totaling over 1.7 million direct and indirect natural gas jobs in the United States.
In Texas, where the production and consumption of natural gas both exceed national averages, the fuel supports thousands of jobs across the Lonestar state. The report found that natural gas created over 767,000 direct and indirect jobs for Texans. As well, Texas natural gas utilities directly and indirectly employed 522,6100 people while local distribution companies (LDCs) created 26,900 direct jobs.
The employment power of natural gas in the United States is in part due to its role in the country’s energy mix. Natural gas contributed to 31% of all energy consumption in America in 2018 – no surprise, given its abundance and efficiency. Clean burning natural gas provides end consumers with on-demand accessibility at affordable prices. In fact, natural gas production and its use has saved Texans $95.82 billion in energy costs from 2008 to 2018, while adding over $34 billion in personal income.
The end-savings from natural gas supports outlying industries
The job creation from natural gas trickles down to the end consumer. Low, stable natural gas prices help businesses save on their utility costs like heating and cooling. This allows businesses to maintain a low overhead, make more money, and employ more people.
In short, the utility savings from natural gas have wide-reaching implications on the margins of industries everywhere, and their ability to employ people. In one example, the report noted:
… the food industry heavily relies on natural gas for cooking. However, it is not the initial cost to be factored into the final bill at a restaurant. If the cost of energy were to increase, and assuming nothing else changes to the menu’s quality, this could impact jobs or wages or both on a regional scale.
The report calls out other large industries that indirectly benefit from natural gas; namely, the manufacturing, sale, and repair or installation of appliances that use natural gas. Over the last 20 years, between two and three natural gas appliances were added for every new residential customer. The steady installation of natural gas has helped support the appliance industry, which contributed to over 1 million jobs, $54 billion in personal income, and $99 billion to GDP in 2018.
As the country’s dominant producer of natural gas - Texas is poised to continue to share the economic benefits of natural gas across America. API’s study reaffirms what Texans already knew: natural gas is an economic powerhouse. Millions of jobs rely on natural gas, and with Texas at the helm, Americans can continue to enjoy the benefits of affordable, efficient natural gas.