November’s job listings data was particularly negative as all states and sectors saw declines, but none more severe than the Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction sector. Employment in the sector has steadily been on the decline, despite President Trump promising to bring coal back. As we move away from traditional coal for cheaper natural gas and cleaner renewables, miners are moving to foreign markets, or to other growing renewable and technology sectors. As a result, coal employment has fallen to nearly its lowest level since the sector began reporting, and coal production in the U.S. has likely passed its peak.
Our data found that while job listings in the sector were down 17% from October, they were also down more than 50% since their peak in September 2018.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is now building up oil inventory, and exporting crude oil and petroleum products, for the first time in decades. We’ll continue to monitor this mini oil boom, and the jobs it creates, but we are also cautious as experts wonder if peak oil is just around the corner too.
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