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Area sees growth in shale jobs

Job growth to serve Ohio’s emerging shale natural gas industry is stronger percentage-wise in the Dayton region than any other part of the state, figues released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show.

The employment figures cover the time period from the fourth quarter of 2011 until the fourth quarter of 2012.

It shows statewide employment in core shale drilling industries such as pipeline construction and well drilling rose by 1,310 jobs, or 17.7 percent.

For the Dayton region covered by the Dayton Development Coalition, core industry job growth rose 42.6 percent, from 94 in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 134, or 40 jobs, by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Ancillary industries in Dayton such as freight trucking and environmental consulting showed lower percentage growth, but more jobs - a rise of 1.1 percent from 15,410 to 15,587, or 177 jobs by the fourth quarter of 2012.

Chris Kershner, Vice President for Public Policy & Economic Development for the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that strong growth is being reported by local architectural, engineering and construction firms.

For example, he said, construction firm Kelchner of Springboro is opening up new offices in the eastern portion of the state to accommodate the new work. Shale drilling legal work for local firms is also picking up, he added.

“Obviously, our businesses have found success,” Kershner said. “Dayton is earning a reputation across the state as a major player in the natural gas industry.”

The average wage in core shale-related industries was $76,643, ODJFS said, which was $32,401 greater than the average for all industries. In the second quarter of 2013, the shale industry offered 6,052 online job postings, ODJFS said.

Late last year, a study by IHS said that unconventional oil and gas drilling employs 1.7 million and will grow to three million jobs by the end of the decade.

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