Employment impacts of upstream oil and gas investment in the United States

Mark Agerton, Peter R. Hartley, Kenneth B. Medlock, Ted Temzelides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We use dynamic panel methods at the state level to understand how the increase in exploration and production of oil and natural gas since the mid-2000s has impacted employment. We find robust statistical support for the hypothesis that changes in drilling do, in fact, have an economically meaningful and positive impact on employment. The strongest impact is contemporaneous, though months later in the year also experience statistically and economically meaningful growth. Once dynamic effects are accounted for, we estimate that an additional rig count results in the creation of 31 jobs immediately and 315 jobs in the long run. Robustness checks suggest that these multipliers could be even bigger. Our results imply that the national impact of upstream investment remains small, perhaps due to the sector's small size and inter-state migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


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