Shale gasdevelopment has already created a booming new industry in many areas of the country, but a new report suggests that the sector could add hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years, according to the Houston Business Journal.
The report, released by research firm IHS Global Insight, places the shale natural gas industry at around 600,000 workers throughout the U.S. last year. In the coming years, however, this number could grow by 45 percent, reaching 870,000 by 2015.
By 2035, the number of employees could actually swell to 1.6 million, and the direct tax contributions could reach $57 billion annually, according to Bloomberg. Between now and then, shale gas exploration and production could provide as much as $933 billion in tax revenue.
Meanwhile, the indirect benefits of the industry could prove even more substantial, with each high-paying gas development job leading to the creation of two to three other positions.
“Shale gas combines a capital-intensive industry with a broad domestic supply chain,” John Larson, a vice president at IHS, told Bloomberg. “We think that these jobs through 2015 are net new jobs because of high unemployment.”