From the administration’s perspective, the long-declining coal mining sector is looking rosy.
“Since the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.”
With few semantic adjustments, Pruitt reiterated the optimistic statistics in two ensuing interviews.
The general sentiment is right. Under President Donald Trump, coal mining jobs have risen, continuing a late-Obama Administration turnaround.
But things are grayer than they seem.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics cleared rhetorical smog to reveal an addition of a mere 1,000 coal mining jobs between January and May. Additionally, with a May coal mining workforce of 51,000 bolstered by a monthly increase of just 400, Pruitt’s estimates indicate an unlikely doubling of coal laborers or imply a base figure of 1,000.
An EPA spokesperson told the Washington Post that Pruitt inaccurately articulated the facts, referencing unclear timelines and imprecise sector breakdowns.
As Statista pointed out, his claims are justified only when considering the entire mining and logging sector, not just the coal mining subsector, from October 2016 onward. Under these specifications, the U.S. added 47,000 mining jobs, 40,300 of were attributed to support activities rather than coal.
Notably, solar energy, the greatest threat to coal miners, remains on the rise and now entertains a U.S. workforce of more than 370,000.
Since Pruitt’s Sunday remarks, Market Vectors-Coal ETF (NYSE: KOL) has traded up 1.1 percent.
Blue-Collar Workers Must Adapt To Survive
Solar Power Is Already Cheaper Than Coal In Several Countries
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