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.