A study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed that, in 2019, the industry supported — either indirectly or directly — 11.3 million jobs and contributed almost $1.7 trillion to the overall economy. In addition, oil and gas companies also supported 3.5 million more jobs around the nation, accounting for 5.6% of overall employment in the U.S.
Here are some of the many ways the oil and gas industry supports the U.S. economy.
Lots of Jobs
It’s not just the direct jobs that they create, though. It’s also the indirect or “runoff” jobs that come from what they do.
New discoveries of oil and natural gas deposits lead to booming support industries in a region. This includes housing, retail, food services, and entertainment. In addition, completely new communities can pop up when deposits are discovered.
Even for already-existing deposits, the industry supports many indirect jobs annually.
Lower Energy Costs
Because so much of the United States’ oil and gas comes from domestic reserves, the cost of energy here is considerably lower than elsewhere in the world. As a result, the country has a vast supply of oil and natural gas, which then supports significant private investment, which in turn helps the economy grow even more.
The Energy Department estimates that the average American family of four saves roughly $2,500 per year in energy costs because of the U.S.’ ample supply — or $203 billion total annually.
Household electricity in the United States costs roughly 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. In Germany, by contrast, that number is a whopping 37 cents — or more than double America’s.
It isn’t spoken about much, but the oil and gas industry contributes trillions of dollars of tax revenue to both state and federal governments. The Energy Department estimated that from 2012 to 2025, the industry would provide roughly $1.6 trillion in tax revenue.
Like all industries, oil and gas companies pay their fair share of taxes on the profits they generate. These taxes then go to support public schools, infrastructure, and hospitals, to name a few.
In other words, even Americans who have no direct or indirect connection to a company in the industry still reap the massive benefits it creates.
Companies in the manufacturing industry consume nearly 25% of all energy in America. Because the United States offers affordable power, it attracts companies to bring their manufacturing operations back stateside.
In total, there are 630,000 jobs in just Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in the manufacturing industry, according to the Energy Department. However, these jobs may not exist if it weren’t for the affordable energy that oil and gas companies create.
As Ferrari Energy explains, American manufacturing helps to infuse billions into the U.S. economy annually. This is crucial to the country’s GDP — and this is just a portion of the indirect jobs the industry supports.
While the country is undoubtedly moving more toward more renewable energy and away from fossil fuels, natural gas, coal, and oil still provide more than 80% of the country’s energy.