Guess which industry is fueling the biggest jump in U.S. wages since 2007?

posted at 3:21 pm on October 11, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

If you guessed “renewable energy,” you’d be wrong — so wrong. Sure, the green-energy industry may have created some 28,000-odd jobs (a very far cry from the 5 million we were promised, cough cough), but it’s important to remember that even those few ‘successfully’ created green jobs are not necessarily productive jobs.

The green-energy industry is only as big as it is because it’s on the receiving end of a whole heap of different types of subsidies, from tax credits to loan guarantees to direct payments, and subsidies are always and necessarily designed to distort free-market signals. All the money poured into the green industry by the federal government comes at the opportunity cost of that money being spent more effectively and profitably elsewhere — let’s say, perhaps if the government would just stop overstepping its Constitutional boundaries and quit trying to pick economic winners and losers with our money, and we all maybe just had lower taxes in general and could spend that money ourselves? (I know, I know — keep dreaming, Erika.)

However, if you guessed “oil/gas/mining domestic energy production,” you’d be right — so right. Via CNN Money:

Big pay hikes in the energy industry have helped fuel the biggest jump in U.S. wages in more than five years, according to an industry report released Wednesday.

PayScale, which analyzes data from more than 10 million U.S. workers, reported that workers in the mining, oil and gas exploration industry have seen their pay increase by an average of 4.9% over the past 12 months and that has helped to push the average U.S. worker’s paycheck 3% higher over the same period. …

After a brief slowdown in oil and gas exploration early in the recession, there has been a boom in the field. Drilling companies are flocking to places like North Dakota and the Northeast and prices at the pump have skyrocketed, nearly tripling since 2008.

With oil prices rising and the potential of natural gas expanding, the energy sector is going gangbusters — and this is just with the limited access we’re allowed under President Obama and his Interior Department’s meager permitting. Fewer restrictions on American businesses’ opportunities for oil and gas exploration would lead to productive, private-sector job creation, economic growth, and boatloads of federal and state revenue that could help all of our debt problems — but noooooo, we have to keep dumping our money into the bottomless green-energy pit, because that’s the direction that President Obama has magnanimously decided the country needs to take. How very generous of him.


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Unemployment dollars return a minimum of $1.30 on the dollar.

Beat that you polluting industrialist scum!

/piglosi

tom daschle concerned on October 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Wierd! Who could have guessed the industry Democrats hate most is the most beneficial to the country.

MTF on October 11, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Let me guess, Chevy Volt production?
Wind turbines?
Food Stamps?

JFKY on October 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

….political public hookers?

KOOLAID2 on October 11, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Manure spreaders?

Flange on October 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Washington Bureaucrats??? Am I right? What Did I Win?

JimK on October 11, 2012 at 3:27 PM

EPA to North Dakota:

My my, that’s a nice little “fracking” boom you’ve got there.

Shame if anything were to happen to it.

Hawkins1701 on October 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

drill baby drill

karenhasfreedom on October 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

YES! Energy is key… to high income jobs, to low gas prices & low business production costs, and bountiful jobs & products for all! Let’s start talking more about how O oddly has it out for U.S. energy, because of climate change, which people either don’t believe or don’t think is a threat at all.
And about coal, a great wake up call article is this, and with O it could happen here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/9590135/Millions-of-British-households-face-blackout-warns-Ofgem.html
It says:

Millions of households are at risk of power black-outs by 2015 because coal stations are being replaced with wind farms, the energy watchdog [Ofgem] said.
The regulator’s new analysis reveals the risk of power-cuts is almost 50 per cent in 2015.. It predicts Britain will face power shortages because old coal and oil plants are being forced to shut down under the European Union’s environmental regulations.

O wants to do the same thing to the U.S. by greenifying our grid. It would be an unmitigated disaster! But in fact the disaster is already occurring, as Obama has succeeded in preventing any new coal plants from being built, and soon the existing plants will be closing down en masse, leaving us vulnerable to an energy disaster. Spread the word of this danger before the election.

anotherJoe on October 11, 2012 at 3:35 PM

Finally, they have found the “Green Jobs” … green with cash

J_Crater on October 11, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Squirrel hunting — hands down — clearly.

FlatFoot on October 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

But I thought a “wise man” said we couldn’t drill our way to prosperity?

dentalque on October 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

As a Frenchman, I am tempted to say nuclear :)…oh wait, forget about it, it’s the American in me that should have answered that, so definitely not nuclear :)…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Well God BLESS us Oilfield Trash!!

God BLESS us every ONE!

Ya jes CAINT make this stuff UP folks!

Double face PALM

(when ONE face palm just won’t DO! ROFL)

Katfish on October 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM

How very generous of him.

lol…no sarc tag needed on that one..

RedInMD on October 11, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Hawkins1701 on October 11, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Same here in TX. It is booming because our AG has won against the epa on several issues. Lots and lots of money being made here and with Mitt as president, EVERY state will be helped un-doing bho/epa krap!
L

letget on October 11, 2012 at 3:46 PM

With the democrats push for birth control and all things women, and gay marriage, let me guess petroleum jelly.

meci on October 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Studies should be done first. Many studies. Long studies. Expensive studies. New commissions should be established and staff hired to fill them. It’s a busy, busy time for those trying to save the earth, and at the same time, apply for big dollar grants.

a capella on October 11, 2012 at 3:49 PM

petroleum jelly.

IIRC, that was found by a chemist to be a by product of OIL!
L

letget on October 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

There are so few people working that the increased wages in the O&G industry has a large effect on the average.

Wigglesworth on October 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Big Bird makes almost as much as the President.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Just think where we could be with off-shore drilling, ANWR, continued coal fired power plant operation, and a diminishing EPA.

AZfederalist on October 11, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Unfortunately, those salaries are only rising for people in the energy industry.

And since the media and one of the political parties are constantly attacking that industry, people aren’t as likely to join it.

If even more people would rush to where the jobs were, we’d have lower energy prices, lower prices, and even higher wages. It would create a positive spiral. Insteads, South Dakota is a well-hidden secret, and Pennsylvanians can’t decide if they’re happy or distraught over sitting on huge natural gas deposits.

hawksruleva on October 11, 2012 at 3:54 PM

OT: Cutter blames Romney and Ryan for fallout with Benghazigate.

mwbri on October 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

This is terrible news! What we need are more solar panels that don’t work in sunlight.

The Rogue Tomato on October 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Way the by, with this fracking revolution going on, why are we being warned that natural gas bills for heating this Winter will be 15% higher than last year? Shouldn’t costs be going down?

slickwillie2001 on October 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

OT: Cutter blames Romney and Ryan for fallout with Benghazigate.

mwbri on October 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM

I’m betting this will be AP’s first post this afternoon.

http://www.therightscoop.com/stephanie-cutter-benghazi-attack-only-matters-politically-because-romneyryan-are-politicizing-it/

MontanaMmmm on October 11, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Big Bird makes almost as much as the President.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Why? Their level of intelligence is basically the same :).. and they both know the alphabet :)…

jimver on October 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Big Bird makes almost as much as the President.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I would argue that Big Bird is UNDER-PAID in that event, considering Big Bird has a record of POSITIVER achievements, whereas the same cannot be said of Obama.

JFKY on October 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Romney needs to keep pounding on Solyndra.

nazo311 on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

EPA to North Dakota:

My my, that’s a nice little “fracking” boom you’ve got there.

Shame if anything were to happen to it.

North Dakota to EPA: It would be a real shame if being an EPA employee were more dangerous than being an ambassador in Benghazi, too.

Just sayin’.

SDN on October 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Big Bird makes almost as much as the President.

Happy Nomad on October 11, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Well, if you compare IQs, then BB tops BO in that category…

climbnjump on October 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

Manure spreaders?

Flange on October 11, 2012 at 3:26 PM

You already said political public hookers.

itsspideyman on October 11, 2012 at 5:34 PM

slickwillie2001 on October 11, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Last winter NG was selling near cost. It sunk below cost in the last year and production was cut back. Then we had unusual heat. Now we are supposed to have a cold winter of Biblical proportions in some parts of the country. Demand goes up..well, you know.

The brain from Penn State, the Almanac and a fundamentalist preacher all predict record cold. He said it is in the Bible and some president from Illinois will suffer for his evil. You will not believe the next part….

Chicago will freeze over.

I don’t make this stuff up. Do a search.

IlikedAUH2O on October 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM

With the democrats push for birth control and all things women, and gay marriage, let me guess petroleum jelly.

meci on October 11, 2012 at 3:48 PM

IIRC, that was found by a chemist to be a by product of OIL!
L

letget on October 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

That’s why KY jelly is a better choice. The petroleum breaks down the prophylactic….so be careful out there folks!

Sasha List on October 11, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Erika, a word of advice. Try not to come across as actually hostile to green jobs. It’s one thing to be against goverment wasting money on green industries. But to be against those industries per se is short sighted. Yes, I might be getting the wrong impression from your post. But that is still the impression I am getting.

Scopper on October 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Squirrel hunting — hands down — clearly.

FlatFoot on October 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM

the problem with them is they require a .22 and if Obama gets re-elected the ammo will be scarce (you’ll need to hoard it to keep the hoodies off your front step).

gophers and chipmunks on the other hand require only a BB and business is BOOMING around here.

teejk on October 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Scopper on October 11, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I agree 110% (what libertarian wouldn’t want to tell the arab world that we don’t need their oil anymore)…BUT I have to say the $$$ has to be spent better…throwing stuff against the wall hoping it sticks just so you can claim that you tried is a waste of money.

teejk on October 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM

And to top that news off, the permit for a new refinery has just been approved for the Rez up North here in ND.
That’ll bring more jobs.
This stuff is another reason why so many jobs are going unfilled here in ND in other sectors.
If you can find a place to live out here, you got a job if you can just breathe on your own.

Badger40 on October 11, 2012 at 8:28 PM

Guess which industry is fueling the biggest jump in U.S. wages since 2007?

Ooh, I know! The giant mechanical grasshopper industry!

Baerwulf on October 11, 2012 at 9:56 PM