What the Future of Coal Means for the Future of Industry Jobs
Coal has been around forever. It can be traced as far back as the cavemen – who used it for various reasons. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, coal use has skyrocketed in modern civilization, and since 1970, coal production has increased by more than 70 percent.
We hear it in the news all the time. Coal is becoming a huge topic as environmental activists exploit coal’s negative impact on the earth. Typically, each side of the political spectrum falls on either a pro-coal axis or an anti-coal axis, and each create policies to appeal to their side.
With today’s political spectrum, it seems as if jobs in coal should increase. However, there is major opposition to an expansion of coal, and subsequently its jobs. With everything happening in the political world, let’s see what the future of coal has on industry jobs.
There are coal jobs on the horizon, and the current administration wants to grab them and reel them in. After all, the previous administration did cut industry jobs by about 36,000, which came as a huge shock to many. As first reported by CNN, there were 400 jobs created in coal in the month of May. This may not seem like a whole bunch, but after thousands of jobs were cut, any amount of creation is received with open arms. There have been promises for months about new jobs in coal, and it seems as if those promises are being kept. All 36,000 lost jobs won’t magically appear overnight, but give it time and it seems that jobs in the industry will increase.
Not all people believe that jobs will increase, but anything besides more job cuts will be welcomed by the industry. As one coal miner states, “I really don’t think that there’s going to be that many more jobs created, but I do think it’ll stabilize.” This comes as a sign of hope for many currently working in the industry. With cuts first starting in 2011, the job security has now been welcomed by those currently employed in the industry. Those who have been worrying about their jobs being lost over the past six years can now stop stressing out over something they cannot control.
Just like in every other situation, there are those who believe that industry jobs will continue to decrease. In an article from the New York Times, it is clear that many researchers believe that the increased use of natural and renewable resources will continue the decrease in use of coal. As a researcher from Columbia University states, “…in order to stay competitive, coal will have to increase automation.”
The future of coal and jobs in the industry is still up in the air. However, one thing is certain: the outlook on industry jobs is looking brighter now than it has been for the past six years.