U.S. coal jobs increased by 1,001 from 2016 to 2017, according to a review of data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
Despite President Trump’s promises to bring back “beautiful” coal, energy analysts don’t think the White House had anything to do with the numbers.
West Virginia saw the biggest increase: 1,429 jobs. “Trump has ended the war on coal,” said Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus.
Seven other states lost coal jobs in 2017.
Many analysts credit the increase to short-term forces in the market. They point to a cyclone that hit Australia, which is the world’s leader in metallurgical coal production.
Kentucky lost 108 coal jobs in 2017, according to annual averages from MSHA. Both Texas and Ohio suffered bigger losses, with 503 and 401 jobs lost, respectively.
Retirements that have already been announced have led analysts to predict more mine closures in 2018 (Jennifer Ludden, NPR, Feb. 23).
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- On February 23, 2018