U.S. Has Lost 191,000 Mining Industry Jobs Since September 2014

Terence P. Jeffrey | May 6, 2016 | 10:18am EDT
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(AP Photo/David Goldman)

(CNSNews.com) - The United States has lost approximately 191,000 jobs in the mining industry since September 2014 including approximately 7,000 that were lost in April, according to data published today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The coal mining industry alone has lost approximately 10,900 jobs since April of last year.

“Mining employment continued to decline in April (-7,000),” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its employment release this morning. “Since reaching a peak in September 2014, employment in mining has decreased by 191,000, with more than three-quarters of the loss in support activities for mining.”

In recent years, according to the BLS’s seasonally adjusted month-by-month historical employment numbers, mining employment in the United States peaked in September 2014, when there were 852,500 jobs in the industry.

In April, there were only 661,600 mining industry jobs in the United States, according to BLS. That is a decline of 190,900 mining jobs in 19 months.

The BLS has month-by-month employment data in the mining industry going back to 1958. In the 58 years since then, mining employment has seen a series of peaks and troughs, hitting its all-time high in December 1981, and its most recent peak in September 2014.

In December 1981, according to BLS’s seasonally adjusted number, there were 1,177,400 jobs in mining in the United States. That is 515,800 more than the 661,600 jobs in mining this April.

Employment in coal mining has been declining along with the overall mining industry. From April 2015 to April 2016, jobs in the coal mining industry declined from 67,500 to 56,600—a loss of 10,900 jobs in one year.

BLS has seasonally adjusted month-by-month employment numbers in the coal mining industry going back to 1985.

In recent years, employment in the coal mining industry peaked January 2012 at 89,800. Since then it has declined by 33,300 jobs to the current level of 56,600.

In the full period since 1985, employment in the coal mining industry peaked in April 1985 at 178,300 jobs. This April, there were 121,700 fewer jobs in the coal mining industry than there were in that April 31 years ago.

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