Jackie Stewart reports in the Energy in Depth Blog that "the unemployment rate in shale counties has fallen at a staggering rate," citing a recent report from Crain's Cleveland Business indicating that there will be more jobs for people in Northeast Ohio over the next decade.
Indeed, the report in Crain's indicates that "the oil and gas fields of the eastern and southern parts of the region will boost the regional economy beyond what can be forecast today."
Positive developments in our region had previously been highlighted in a Crain's article about the growing need for commercial buildings and properties thanks to the rapid growth of the shale industry. The article cited the efforts of Stark County's Bryce Custer, of NAI Spring in Canton, who focuses his efforts as a real estate adviser on servicing clients who come to the region to work in the Utica shale.
The article quotes Custer as estimating that his firm has done "in excess of $45 million in oil and gas business" over the past two years. The really enouraging news? The trend, according to Custer, is "business and industrial, followed by retail, followed by housing." In other words, economic development affecting all aspects of the economy.
And there's no end in site, as a report in Ohio Gas & Oil magazine indicated. The article quotes Mike Chadsey of the Ohio Oil & Gas Association as telling the Cambridge Rotary Club that "petroleum experts predict 1,000 wells per year will be drilled" in the Utica Shale "for the next 20 years."
A thousand wells per year. For 20 years.
Buckle up, because the forecast says we're in for a long ride -- one that promises to transform Stark County and all of Northeast Ohio.