Three guesses which industry is showing persistently robust job creation

posted at 12:41 pm on May 18, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

Since the start of their tenure, the Obama administration has fallen over itself in its efforts to create jobs — “shovel-ready” jobs, “clean-energy” jobs, government jobs — all of which were brought into existence because the government wanted them to work, not because the productive free market called for them. Strangely enough, President Obama seemed surprised when those shovel-ready jobs “weren’t as shovel-ready as we thought,” and when those green jobs cost taxpayers millions of dollars a pop. And, try as the Obama administration might to foil the oil and gas industry with scant permitting and an increasing regulatory load in order to help enforce their environmental vision, you just can’t keep a good industry down. Here’s a fun chart (via Environmental Trends, by way of Mark Perry):

In a nutshell, the overall U.S. economy has witnessed a net job loss since 2007, but the number of jobs in oil and gas extraction specifically has been moving right along — and imagine what that number might look like without the Obama administration’s various methods of hindering conventional energy production. However much President Obama cares to expound on the inherent virtue of clean energy, the fact is that government-funded green energy is where productive jobs go to die, while the employment trend in oil and gas is flourishing on its own.

This is precisely why it’s so frustrating when President Obama insists that measures such as issuing more drilling permits and approving the Keystone pipeline aren’t “silver bullets” with which we can immediately bring more oil online and lower gas prices (which, actually, isn’t quite true). It can indeed take some years for these projects start directly producing oil and gas, but greenlighting them can create gainful employment and economic growth, right now — for example, just check out the boomtown going on in North Dakota right now!

About 50 miles out on US 2, the telltales appear of North Dakota’s oil boom: modular homes for sale, “Drivers Wanted” billboards, and oil tanker after oil tanker. Just outside of Williston appear the “mancamps.” …

What brought them here was at least 3 billion barrels of oil in the shale buried deep under the ground and the technology needed to extract it — known as fracking. …

The result: unheard-of wages for able-bodied men willing to live and work in this modern Wild West. Got a commercial driver’s license? You can make six figures. Unskilled labor pulls in $18 an hour, and the job often includes lodging and all the mancamp food you can eat. That’s like making $70,000 a year — for unskilled labor. Kel, a driver for Flint Energy in his 50s, told me he spent only $60 in three weeks.


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Another robust industry would probably be “munitions production and sales”.

teke184 on May 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Oil/gas employment pretty much tracks the price of oil/gas.

steebo77 on May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Well bho/team can’t have this getting out now can they? Good news for O&G job’s must be stopped stat per bho/team and they are doing their best to see this gets done?
L

letget on May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Oil/gas employment growth rates pretty much tracks the price of oil/gas.

steebo77 on May 18, 2012 at 12:47 PM

steebo77 on May 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Ruh Roh.

EPA / DOE shutdown in 5…..4…..3…..

PappyD61 on May 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Seeing the writing on the wall, the Obama oafs just made “clean coal” cool again, as of yesterday.

Yesterday Obama expressed himself against prison violence. He needs all the inmates he can get.

After the G8 he’ll declare himself the first “pimp and Fluke president”. The media will herald. He needs every pimp and Fluke vote too.

He also, as I predicted six months ago, is whiter than his own mother now. He needs the rubes from the Virginias back. Good luck chump.

If later in the year he needs the Kenyan votes, he’ll stand by his biography, which in 2007 still said so.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Mancamps.

Please.

BobMbx on May 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Another robust industry would probably be “munitions production and sales”.

teke184 on May 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Gun Manufacturers are doing pretty well also.

Mini-14 on May 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

This list is BS. Where’s the algae industry?

/

Lost in Jersey on May 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

President Obama cares to expound on the inherent virtue of clean energy, the fact is that government-funded green energy is where productive jobs go to die, while the employment trend in oil and gas is flourishing on its own.

…JugEars continually can screw up a wet dream!

KOOLAID2 on May 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

This list is BS. Where’s the algae industry?

/

Lost in Jersey on May 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

It didn’t poll well and Obama will support nuclear energy soon.

Media and fickle and freakish lefties will support, fully.

Don’t you think that his own hot air should suffice with all the national energy needs?

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The tech economy has grown at even a faster pace than energy. The fact that is doesn’t hire as many blue collar workers shouldn’t mean that it’s less relevant.

In the global economy, America is going to win by creativity and intelligence. The oil drilling industry isn’t going to save the US economy from the new reality- that American workers are competing directly with Chinese and Indians for the world’s resources. Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Another robust industry would probably be “munitions production and sales”.

teke184 on May 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Sturm Ruger is a nice little stock to have in your portfolio.

antipc on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I get the point, but starting at January 2007 is a little weird to me. If starting at 2/1/2009 (close to when BHO took office), it seems like the Non-Farm would dip by -3%, but come back to 0%, while Oil & Gas would take a major dip of -8%, then recover to about +15%.

It is all about where you draw the line in the sand.

SnowSun on May 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

In a nutshell, the overall U.S. economy has witnessed a net job loss since 2007…

…when the Democrats took control of the House, Senate, and overall majority control of the entire budgeting and spending process…

ITguy on May 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Obama’s race-baiting industry is doing well.

GaltBlvnAtty on May 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

It’s a failure in who is allowed into the land, illegally and legally.

Your PC will kill all, for good reason.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:58 PM

Obama would give one of his arms/legs if he could take credit of the private land explorations.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I get the point, but starting at January 2007 is a little weird to me. If starting at 2/1/2009 (close to when BHO took office), it seems like the Non-Farm would dip by -3%, but come back to 0%, while Oil & Gas would take a major dip of -8%, then recover to about +15%.

It is all about where you draw the line in the sand.

SnowSun on May 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

I draw the line in the sand at the point where majority control (2+ out of 3 of the House, Senate, and Presidency) switched from Republicans to Democrats. That point in time was January 4, 2007.

So starting this chart at January 2007 makes perfect sense. BHO “took office” as a Senator in January 2005, and was a part of the majority party starting in January 2007. Barack’s participation in the activities of Washington, D.C. did not start on 2/1/2009, so why artificially move the line in the sand to that date?

ITguy on May 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM

It didn’t poll well and Obama will support nuclear energy soon.

Media and fickle and freakish lefties will support, fully.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

That ought to be good for a few laughs watching zero twist himself into a pretzel in front of his greenie base.

Unfortunately, the store’s been out of popcorn lately. Not sure why.

Lost in Jersey on May 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM

ITguy: perfect explanation.
Didn’t think of it that way, but I will now.
BHO is and always will be a SCOAMF.

SnowSun on May 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

The best way to contrast and compare the actions of the Obama administration is to go to the Baker Hughes Inc. website and download the current and historical rig count numbers for the past five years, and then check out the contrast between Texas District 8 and New Mexico on drilling activity.

District 8 is the Permian Basin of West Texas, which extends into southeastern New Mexico — basically, you’re dealing with the same underground drilling formations in both states, but where Texas land is mostly private or state-owned, most of the land involved in New Mexico is federally owned, and subject to permitting by the Bureau of Land Management.

And if you look at the drilling activity in New Mexico between 2007 and 2012, it has barely budged, and in fact has actually gone down, from 88 active drilling rigs in January of ’07 to 86 active rigs as of May 11. Texas District 8, just to the south and west of most of the N.M. rigs in Eddy, Lea and Chaves counties, had 103 active rigs in January of 2007 and 315 as of May 11, basically a 200 percent increase in drilling activity over the same period of time. That’s the difference between while the Obama Administration is allowing companies to do on federal land versus what private landowners and the State of Texas is allowing just across the border.

jon1979 on May 18, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Without looking: Gubmint ,Public sector

Cleombrotus on May 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

So whose fault is that ?
Marxist unions control schools,
hippies and communists control colleges and universities,
academic frauds control research and PhD grants,
clueless leftard hacks control everything else that goes on in colleges and universities, ……..it must be Bush’s fault , and Cheney and Halliburton too !!
How else can one explain how India and China get better results from their education system when they spend so much less than USA …. yep, it is Bush’s fault

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Without looking: Gubmint ,Public sector

Cleombrotus on May 18, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Yep, and almost any industry surrounding the Washington DC black hole of $.

But out here in the real world…not so much.

kirkill on May 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM

They are probably busy hiring compliance and diversity officers…

Archivarix on May 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Well, you morons have had complete control of the educational system from K-12 to Colleges for over 40 frickin’ years so take a bow Einstein.

Tim Zank on May 18, 2012 at 1:17 PM

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

And we need to allow the highly educated to immigrate to the US.

derecho on May 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

It can indeed take some years for these projects start directly producing oil and gas, but greenlighting them can create gainful employment and economic growth, right now — for example, just check out the boomtown going on in North Dakota right now!

Obama: North Dakota is a red state anyway, and only 3 electoral votes. It’s too cold to show off my bod in my Speedos. What, me worry?

Steve Z on May 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

I say we blame private school system for it, tax it into oblivion, and give more money to the teachers’ union. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Archivarix on May 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

And you would be wrong again. At my university (the number 4 engineering and science school in the world) the number of environmental engineers graduated was more than the combined degrees in mechanical, electrical/electronic, chemistry, and nuclear. Why the indoctrinated leftist might ask? because the government is regulating business out of business and the only jobs for engineers are soon going to be working for the government against business.

jukin3 on May 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

@bayam:
“The oil drilling industry isn’t going to save the US economy from the new reality- that American workers are competing directly with Chinese and Indians for the world’s resources.”

Uh, noone said it was going to save the US Economy. What was said that it was a booming industry in the US, despite the best efforts of preezy frankenduncer. And this “new reality” you speak of…not sure I follow- you’re saying American Workers working in American oil fields are competing with Chinese and Indians for the world’s resources? This makes no sense- how is extracting oil domestically in any way in competition with workers in China or India?

“Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students…”

As well English students, obviously. And basic logic.

GrassMudHorsey on May 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

ITguy: perfect explanation.
Didn’t think of it that way, but I will now.

SnowSun on May 18, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Thanks. Now, apply that same perspective (that the balance of power shifted from Republicans to Democrats in January 2007, not Jan 2009) when you look at things like the Employment-population ratio…

I don’t have the numbers for the size of the population age 16 years and over, but if our total U.S. population is over 313 million and if 80% of our population is age 16 and over, then he size of the population age 16 years and over is approximately 250 million people.

So, each percentage point of the Employment-population ratio represents about 2.5 million people.

What was the Employment-population ratio when Barack Obama came to Washington, D.C. in January 2005 as a Senator in the minority party?

62.4%

What was the Employment-population ratio in January 2007 after two years of complete Republican control (House, Senate, and Presidency)?

63.3%

The Bush Tax Cuts were working, and over 2 Million more people were employed than just two years earlier.

THAT is what Obama and the Democrats inherited in January 2007 when the Democrats took majority control of the House, Senate, and overall budgeting and spending process.

What was the Employment-population ratio in January 2009 after two years of majority Democrat control (including Senator Barack Obama in the majority party)?

60.6%

And what was the Employment-population ratio in September 2009 after just eight months of complete Democrat control (House, Senate, and Presidency)?

58.7%

Democrats were behind the wheel as they drove the Employment-population ratio into the ditch, from 63.3% in January 2007 to 58.7% in September 2009.

And the Employment-population ratio has not been above 58.7% since then.

The Democrats took control of the wheel in January 2007, drove the economy into the ditch in just over 2 and a half years, and have kept it sitting in the ditch for more than 2 and half years after that.

Democrats inherited an Employment-population ratio of 63.3%, and it is currently 58.4%, which means that we are almost 5 full percentage points below where we were at the end of majority Republican control.

So, approximately 12.5 million more people were employed when the Republicans held majority control, versus Obama and the Democrats.

ITguy on May 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

hippies and communists control colleges and universities,
academic frauds control research and PhD grants,
clueless leftard hacks control everything else that goes on in colleges and universities

Are you saying there’s a problem with the quality of education at US universities? To anyone outside the US, the American university system is absolutely the best in the world and its research is second to none.

And when it comes to stupid and idiotic hippies, Steve Jobs and Bill O’Reilly have changed the world. Silicon valley companies can’t hire enough engineers. But American kids have to decide to follow that path.

Well, you morons have had complete control of the educational system from K-12 to Colleges for over 40

Go to any high school with a predominant population of kids from Asian households and you’ll see no shortage of students with incredibly high aptitude and scores in math and science.
Who’s fault is it that little Billy’s main goal is to make the football team or that Sally doesn’t really care about her grades?

Yes, unions need to go but the highest indicator of K12 education in the world today is teach salaries. You can compare Finland and other countries at the top of the chart to realize its importance.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

You hardly know the stats..it shows.
Our biggest threat is not having employment, white collar, blue collar, it all goes together.
We need all kinds of jobs…and energy, right now, it the new “silicon valley”.
When Mitt is elected, oil prices will drop like a rock because the rest of the world will know we are opening up the oil lands to development…and competition, true to itself, will force the other countries to drop their prices to try to forestall our development. Even with lower prices, we can not stop becoming more energy independent…we have more oil on our land than all the rest of the world combined…we can be the “middle east” of oil in just a decade. And that will provide blue collar and white collar jobs, and drive our education in the direction we need to go…a balance of professional and trade education.

right2bright on May 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Go to any high school with a predominant population of kids from Asian households and you’ll see no shortage of students with incredibly high aptitude and scores in math and science.

Gee, I guess those “Asian” kids are not American’s…”no shortage”, or a failure to graduate an adequate number…
You were against it before you were for it???

right2bright on May 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

The only “rolls” that Barry is interested in getting people on are ‘the welfare rolls’.

Or more bluntly, “Grab them by their economic balls, and their votes will follow!”

GarandFan on May 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Are you saying there’s a problem with the quality of education at US universities?

I’m saying there is a problem with the quality ( or lack thereof) of TEACHERS and administrators at US schools, colleges and universities, which is decaying the education to the point of it becoming a farce.

To anyone outside the US, the American university system is absolutely the best in the world and its research is second to none.

And that improves my country’s chances of advancement how ?
Just because 18 yr old Saudi men want to get student visas to US universities doesn’t mean that these universities are paragons of intellect .

And when it comes to stupid and idiotic hippies, Steve Jobs and Bill O’Reilly have changed the world.

Joel Rogers, Bill Ayers,Elizabeth Warren, Cass Sunstein, Robert Reich etc …..they have changed the world too !
And BillO ? Seriously ?

Silicon valley companies can’t hire enough engineers. But American kids have to decide to follow that path.

Why would American kids do that when they are being told that being protestors and occupiers is more profitable and easier too?

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

First day in office for Mitt. Let’s see hmmm give the green light to Keystone, fracking, and remove gulf oil drilling restrictions. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

jake49 on May 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Good points all. You have to like the world and think there’s a future in it to want to be an engineer.

Engineers aren’t typically geniuses with rhetoric or exhortation, but what they especially aren’t is existential pessimists. Engineering of any kind is hard and slow: you have to believe in the value of the very material outcomes you’re pursuing, and accept the logic of what you observe, to feel rewarded by it.

The OWS crowd is pessimistic, steeped in existential angst, and devoted to anger and resentment. Too often, today’s college curricula and academic leaders effectively promote just such a condition in the consciousness of the undergrad. It’s one that turns out the exact opposite of the engineering mindset — which starts not with the proposition that problems can be solved, but more basically with the proposition that it matters if they are solved.

J.E. Dyer on May 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

Too often, today’s college curricula and academic leaders effectively promote just such a condition in the consciousness of the undergrad. It’s one that turns out the exact opposite of the engineering mindset — which starts not with the proposition that problems can be solved, but more basically with the proposition that it matters if they are solved.

Yes, I guess that’s why all those startups and high growth tech companies are run by progressives, while conservatives sit on the sidelines and talk endlessly about their victimization and mastery of capitalism. Funny how that works.

Just because 18 yr old Saudi men want to get student visas to US universities doesn’t mean that these universities are paragons of intellect .

What a trite, ignorant and pathetic comment.
Just because a guy who didn’t get accepted to MIT and the incredible world of opportunities it opens doesn’t mean that MIT isn’t one of the great universities in the world.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

J.E. Dyer on May 18, 2012 at 2:20 PM

I have lived in Silly-Con ( !) valley for almost 2 decades now , I used to work for an employer, became a partner, bought out the partners and ultimately own the Co.
I look around here , the place is teeming with highly qualified and business savvy people from all over the 3rd world,
then I see American kids and adults , in my own family too, who are always looking for excuses and scapegoats, and can never prove their point with logic. Bayam reminds me of those family members :O

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Our failure to graduate an adequate number of match, science, and engineering students at the university level is the biggest threat to the US standard of living.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Go to any high school with a predominant population of kids from Asian households and you’ll see no shortage of students with incredibly high aptitude and scores in math and science

What a stupid, racist thing to imply.

So Asian kids are better at math and science because they are Asian? Don’t be a fool. American teachers who have gone to Asia find kids there to be no more motivated than kids here, the parents there are just as preoccupied with work and there own lives as we are and the only extra support the school system gives the teachers is to help the kids learn English.

It is Asian families who have come to the US that are motivated to make sure their kids live the American Dream, excel through hard work and achievement, live up to family and societal expectations and then create their own individual expectations. These are all hallmarks of conservatives, not libs.

You want more kids to become engineers? Help them become motivated. Become a conservative yourself.

You see what needs to be done, but you’re not willing to go for it. Is the safety net really so comfortable to you?

rwenger43 on May 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

why should Obama start paying attention to reality? Anything that creates jobs in the private sector only p!sses off his supporters and jeapordizes his reelection chances, slim as they are. Dam the private sector, Dam the economy, Dam real jobs…full-speed ahead to transformation…

RedInMD on May 18, 2012 at 3:03 PM

I see American kids and adults , in my own family too, who are always looking for excuses and scapegoats, and can never prove their point with logic. Bayam reminds me of those family members

It’s great to be compared to your brilliant family, but I don’t think the great American entrepreneurs in silicon valley have trouble with logic. Or do you find Larry Page and Larry Ellison hopelessly stupid and challenged by complex problem? Who knows, perhaps one day they can afford to become a partner in your firm.

So Asian kids are better at math and science because they are Asian?

Why are you taking my statement out of context? Didn’t I also say the problem was that American kids aren’t adequately motivated and are more focused on sports?

These are all hallmarks of conservatives, not libs.

Is that right- academic excellence is what you find in conservative families? When I go to conservative areas of this country, I see more of a football culture than an academic culture.

You want more kids to become engineers? Help them become motivated. Become a conservative yourself.

Conservatives aren’t creating today’s high-growth companies. Do you really think that Zuckerberg and his management team are conservatives? Or how about the innovators at other startups? You’re living in a bubble.

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

SHHHHHHH!

This has been the US economy’s biggest secret — until now.

Thanks a lot. Once this gets in Obama’s crosshairs, it’s toast.

logis on May 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM

It’s great to be compared to your brilliant family

:(

but I don’t think the great American entrepreneurs in silicon valley have trouble with logic.

Or do you find Larry Page and Larry Ellison hopelessly stupid and challenged by complex problem?

Absolutely not, that’s why they hire engineers from around the world and want even more H1-B visas issued by the government.
And for the last few years now, every new venture they have started has been outside USA. Other than a boat race :) :)
Sooo…what was that about BillO you just said ? Explain that

burrata on May 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

And this doesn’t even mention the Eagle-Ford formation in South Texas that many are saying is possibly the largest oil producing region to ever be discovered in Texas, and that’s saying something.

Well, I guess we know what the real “green energy” jobs are, namely, the ones that generate the green, as in “green-backs”.

lonestarleeroy on May 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM

It didn’t poll well and Obama will support nuclear energy soon.

Media and fickle and freakish lefties will support, fully.

Schadenfreude on May 18, 2012 at 12:53 PM

So you think he’ll support allowing waste stored in the Yucca Mountain facility again? He’s been blocking any waste storage for all he’s worth for years… he might have trouble undoing all the harm he’s done here.

gekkobear on May 18, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Didn’t I also say the problem was that American kids aren’t adequately motivated and are more focused on sports?

bayam on May 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM

Since you see the difference, it’s not teachers, it’s not spending, it’s not race… it’s the social/family unit.

Agreed?

But we still must support the welfare state and it’s desire to destroy the social/family unit while complaining that education is getting worse and we can fix this by throwing more money at it?

Maybe some social programs to reward the family unit; or at least stop rewarding it’s destruction could help?

Or is that hopelessly conservative and we must decry the evil problem while working to make it worse?

I’m not saying you can’t find liberal engineers; but you don’t find much support for strengthening and not weakening the family unit either.

Or do you think the liberal policies of the past few decades have helped in this area?

We know Asians are best off; but we also know that “affirmative action” actually discriminates AGAINST Asians as a minority. They get the least help, and do the best… weird.

Which race is worst off? Which race has received the most in liberal policies and benefits? that seems to be the same one as well doesn’t it?

Do you think that is a coincidence? Or would you care to posit a racist interpretation of that instead of laying the blame on liberal policies that have weakened the family unit?

gekkobear on May 18, 2012 at 6:44 PM