While there has been lots of shouting about the state losing coal jobs, as a whole, the state’s natural resource extraction employment picture looks very healthy. All together, employment in the natural gas and coal industry reached almost 37,000 in the third quarter of 2012 – its highest point over the last ten years. While coal mining employment has declined recently, there are still more than 8,000 jobs today than there were in 2003. The growth in the natural gas industry has also played a large role making up for the losses in coal mining jobs. Over the last ten years, total employment has nearly doubled from about 6,900 in 2003 to just over 13,000 in 2012.
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