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CFR's Michael Levi Questions Brown Jobs Numbers

CFR fellow Michael Levi, one of the smartest people in this business, tweeted that the numbers in Joel Kotkin’s post referenced here on Via Meadia are off.

Here’s the Levi tweet:

I wish it were so. Kotkin numbers look off by >2X -include royalty recipients as employees. Ditto w wages- ~60k, good, but not 100

Kotkin and Levi both know what they are doing; Via Meadia will wait for the dust to settle and make sure our readers know where this comes out.

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  • Steve W from Ford

    Well as far as wages in the oil patch go I do know this much. I lost a good employee on our farm who left for a job driving a truck in N Dakota picking up oil from the wells. He was offered $85K a year plus benefits and overtime for more than 40 hours. This was 4 years ago and I’d imagine he makes more now. I also have two nephews and a niece working in the industry in Wyoming and I know they are making pretty close to 100K each. My nephews are fairly young and had no particular relevant experience but they are smart and hard workers. Your estimate of 100K average doesn’t look to far off to me..

  • Norman Roberts

    A six figure income stream is money in somebody’s pocket whether it is from a job or royalty payments. It would be a nce little plus fo my retirement.

  • EnerGeoPolitics

    Even if Kotkin’s numbers are off, you have to include all the second and third order jobs that are added once growth occurs in the extraction industry. The Offshore Marine Service Association put up a video whiteboard earlier this month demonstrating that every oil or gas rig job creates as many as 3 other jobs in supporting or related fields. Now, 2nd and 3rd order jobs probably aren’t going to pay as much as primary jobs in the O&G field, and so would bring Kotkins’ average pay numbers down, but at the same time they might boost his total “brown jobs” number even above his given forecast.

    Bottom line is that the extractive industries create jobs, create supporting jobs, increase the tax base, and positively impact the US balance of trade. Environmental concerns must be taken seriously and addressed (even if you disagree with them,you have to deal with the political reality that there is a powerful, organized constituency there that can derail your efforts otherwise), but any economic policy that does not put energy and extraction front and center is not a serious plan, IMO.

  • Glen

    A $60K annual income may indeed be subsistence living for someone in Manhattan. Michael Levi sports a 212 phone number, so it’s fair to assume that’s where he lives – and where he lives no doubt strongly colors his perception about what’s a “good wage.”

    But away from Manhattan, D.C., San Francisco and LA’s Westside, $60K is pretty good, maybe even great – especially when the alternative is unemployment.

  • Robert

    And CFR means…?

    Admittedly, not all of us out here are as well clued-in on the abbreviations & acronyms as we could be. Still, a little translation of such things wouldn’t go amiss.

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