Look for Coal and Mining Jobs to Come Back This Year
Reuters (Apr 07, 2017)
U.S. coal producers can look forward to an increase in production and jobs during 2017/18 as the industry recovers from the depression of 2015/16.
The medium-term outlook remains challenging but some of the short-term problems that tipped the industry into crisis over the last two years are abating.
Coal production slumped from 1 billion tons in 2014 to just 739 million tons in 2016, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The average number of operators and contractors employed at the coal mines (excluding office staff) fell from 111,000 in 2014 to just 78,000 in 2016.
But production increased by almost 35 million tons in the third quarter of 2016, around 22 percent, according to the latest data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
And production is likely to have increased further in the fourth quarter, when the figures are published next month.
The increase in output should start to boost employment, with at least some of the 33,000 employees and contractors laid off between 2014 and 2016 likely to be rehired.