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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Coal Mining Is Responsible for 0.6 Percent of Employment In Kentucky

Coal Mining Is Responsible for 0.6 Percent of Employment In Kentucky

Sunday, 22 June 2014 08:32

The Washington Post noted Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell's efforts to block President Obama's new proposal for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by closing coal plants. It told readers:

"coal is a major source of energy and jobs in McConnell’s state and in several others represented by Democratic senators who are seeking reelection this year."

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Situation survey, the coal industry employs 11,600 workers in Kentucky. This is equal to 0.6 percent of total employment (1,862,000). This puts Kentucky in second place to the 4.2 percent share in West Virginia, but in every other state represented by Democratic senators who are seeking reelection this year the share of employment in the coal industry is considerably less than in Kentucky.


Note: The share in West Virginia was corrected. The post originally said 1.6 percent.

Comments (9)Add Comment
Probably should have been
written by Lord, June 22, 2014 11:11
major source of campaign funds.
A Little Context
written by Larry Signor, June 22, 2014 11:15
Kentucky has added ~100k jobs since 2010. ~5000 mining and logging jobs have been eliminated [I could plausibly construct a story where losing 10k M&L jobs would create 200k new jobs, if I were MM], ~20k construction jobs have been eliminated. Health services have added ~12k, state government has added~10k, unemployment is down ( from the 2010 high of .7.

Mitch McConnell is making a big noise in a small room.
written by Larry Signor, June 22, 2014 11:26
...unemployment is down 28% from the 2010 high of 10.7%
written by Last Mover, June 22, 2014 11:38
This is equal to 0.6 percent of total employment ...

Some are likely misreading this off the mark as much as ".6 of total employment" or "6 percent of total employment".

It would be more clear to state it as "0.6 of one percent of total employment" as long as the fraction is below one, or just state it as ".006 of total employment.
written by John Parks, June 22, 2014 12:19
Screaming about "loss of jobs" is not about the "jobs" it is simply politics.

Taking a "jobs first" position satisfies both the donor class who owns the legislator but also gives the impression to the unwashed masses that their legislator actually gives a damn about them.

Bierce defined that particular activity over a hundred years ago.
POLITICS, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.

I would suggest that Reid and McConnell would score more points with both constituencies if they declared the new regulations an "unfunded mandate" and paid for it by closing a few worthless military bases in places like
"Wheristan" or "Halliburtonistan."
Dean, you just don't get it
written by ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©, June 22, 2014 12:21
A job loss that goopers (especially goopers backed by deep pockets, such as the fossil industry's) complain about is worth more than 100 jobs lost due to causes that don't worry goopers (e.g. mergers, off-shoring, financial industry piracy, etc.).
Chief Doofus
written by dilbert dogbert, June 22, 2014 9:11
I'm with Lord.
That said I also wonder what percent of Kentucky's domestic product is due to coal?
The Job Multiplier for Coal is 1?
written by Jay, June 23, 2014 11:17
Surely the title is misleading. I bet the job multiplier computed by the BEA's input/output model for coal mining is close to 4 or 5.
Kentucky's coal mining employment.
written by kay, June 24, 2014 4:24
Two things you forgot:

A/ Coal miner wages plus benefits are likely to be much higher than wages for less educated hamburger-flippers, the only other jobs that would be available to these less-skilled persons, were they to be dis-employed; hence, that race-weighted card is likely to play well, just like it does in South-West Virginia and West Virginia.

B/ The turn-out for the Mid-Terms is likely be in the mid-30 percent range and scared coal-miners and families will turn in proportionately larger numbers, given the job uncertainty in these dainty economic times.

Obama is such a poor and weak President that it is both discouraging and disgusting. Instead of duking it out openly with reactionary Democratic and Republican Senators for the Medicare in open Town-Hall meetings, for the environment and justice for the Commons, against reactionary and interventionist media, he merely trundles toward 1917, smug and satisfied that a Black man could be President of the U.S.

What a shame.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.