Report: Oil and gas employment up 20 pct in W.Va.

CHARLESTON (AP) — A report from the Workforce West Virginia Investment Council shows statewide oil and gas industry employment jumped 20 percent last year.

The report says that from 2011 to 2012, oil and gas employment increased by 2,123 jobs, to total employment of 12,666.

It also notes that most of the oil and gas employment growth is in the Northern Panhandle and north-central West Virginia, where the bulk of the Marcellus Shale activity is taking place.

Employment in sectors that support the oil and gas industry also grew, particularly in the oil and gas pipeline and storage tank construction sector.

During the period, the average wage for oil and gas industry workers increased by nearly $5,500, to an annual average wage of $75,580 in 2012.

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