Since the start of the Utica shale play, the Ohio Chamber has been a major booster of its development – heralding its potential for economic growth as a “game changer” for our state’s economy. To date, 747 Utica wells have been drilled and 384 are in production. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reports that between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2013, core shale-related employment is up by 56.4 percent.
Now, a new report issued by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University sheds even more light on the positive impact of shale development in Ohio. The Ohio Shale Development Community Impact Survey captures shale activity in 17 eastern Ohio counties by analyzing the responses of nearly 200 local officials who provided details about shale development in their communities.
More than 87 percent of the local officials surveyed said shale development is having a positive impact on their local economies. The results demonstrate that shale activity continues to drive job growth and business development. Communities are experiencing increased employment and tax revenue is growing; patronage at restaurants and retail establishments is increasing; hotel occupancy is up; businesses that serve the shale industry are adding employees; and there is increased demand for commercial and industrial space.
The Utica shale play is positively transforming Ohio’s economy and as it develops there is sure to be more good news to come!