Jobs Über Alles

By far the best look at the jobs issues surrounding Marcellus Shale to date.  WSJ: Gas Drilling Bringing Jobs to Pennsylvania, but How Many?

Still deserves a lot more poking, and I suspect folks will be writing long ex post on the jobs projections many take for granted compared to what we eventually will measure.

and yes…  the regional labor force stats are out and the center of attention is the discrepancy between the big jump in jobs and yet the rise in the local unemployment rate.  Various creative ways to describing the confusion; PBT says “quirk of statistics“.  While I admit I have some questions myself it comes down to one of three things that has to be going on in the data.  One is the ‘quirk’ which would mean there is a sample frame in the CPS for the region that is capturing a bit more folks unemployed than you might expect. It is possible, but it is enough of a discrepancy with the jobs count that I don’t quite believe it can be more than part of the story. At some point the sample frame will rotate folks out so we will eventually know if that is having an impact.  Could be some jump up in labor force participation among local residents; though that would be odd to happen fast enough to be showing up as it is. Would be a story unto itself.  The third big possibility which I am leaning toward is just sheer migration into the region which would be a direct way to produce the seemingly anomalous increases in jobs, yet rising unemployment rates.  So one quirk of the quirk then is that the rising unemployment and employment produces a sizable jump in the labor force to put us awfully close to the region’s all time labor force peak.

and to just throw everyone for a loop… unemployment rates are up, even seasonally adjusted rates, out in the middle of where so many of the Marcellus-related jobs are located.

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