News Column

Coal Industry Likely to See Further Declines: Study

Feb. 15, 2013

David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier, Va.

coal cars

The King Institute for Regional Economic Studies at King University has released a report on cconomic impacts of job losses in the coal mining industry.

"The US department of Energy in its February 2013 outlook for coal production in the Appalachian region forecast a decline of 5.4 million tons in 2013, on the heels of a decline of 33 million tons in 2012. This forecast implies that more layoffs may be in the offing," according to Sam Evans, associate professor of finance and economics at King University.

The newly released paper presents estimates of the impacts of potential job losses in the coal industry on the economy of the coalfield region of Southwest Virginia.

According to the study, the role of coal mining in the region's economy is enhanced by significant multiplier or spillover impacts associated with coal production and employment.

For example, coal mining employment directly accounts for 7.5 percent of total employment in the coalfield region. However, after taking into account the multiplier or spillover effects of coal mining, it is found that coal mining is the basis for 17 percent of total employment in the region.

KIRES Paper No. 7, "Economic Impacts of Job Losses in the Coal Mining Industry," is available in electronic format.

Source: (c)2013 the Bristol Herald Courier (Bristol, Va.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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