Columbus -- More than 167,000 people were working in Ohio's growing shale oil and gas industry as of late last year, according to a new report released by the state.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family services also noted that those workers are earning average salaries between $59,000 and $74,000, according the first issue of "Ohio Shale: Quarterly Economic Trends for Ohio Gas and Oil Industries."
"The growing oil and gas industry holds great economic potential for Ohio," ODJFS Director Michael Colbert said in a released statement. "This report provides individuals, businesses and community leaders with important information that can help guide economic development decisions and career choices."
The first report provides a snapshot of Ohio's oil and gas industry as of November.
Among the statistics included:
• Employment was up 1,066 (17 percent) in pipeline construction and well drilling, 4,809 (3.1 percent) in trucking, environmental consulting and other ancillary industries; and 90,435 (1.9 percent) in other related positions.
• The number of shale-related businesses rose to 13,412. According to the report, "Between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, 16 oil and gas well-drilling operations, six natural gas liquid extraction operations, five oil and gas pipeline construction businesses, and nine businesses offering oil and gas industry support services opened in Ohio."
• Carroll County led the state in terms of number of wells drilled, with more than 50. Columbiana County was second, with 21-50. Jefferson, Harrison and Noble counties had 11-20. Stark, Guernsey and Belmont had 6-10. More than 10 others, including Mahoning, Portage, Wayne, Ashland and Holmes, had up to five.
Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.