In 2013, international accounting firm Ernst & Young performed a comprehensive study of the economic and employment impacts of the coal exports sector. That study showed:
In 2011, coal exports contributed an estimated 141,270 jobs to the U.S. economy, including 39,350 direct jobs at mines, transportation companies, and ports plus more than 100,000 jobs at businesses in a wide range of industries. With export coal production of 107 million tons, that equals 1,320 jobs for each million tons of production.
Not only is that a lot of jobs, they are also high-paying jobs. Direct employees in coal-export related industries earned nearly 50 percent more than the national average in wages and benefits in 2011. People employed directly at coal mines, transportation companies, ports, and coal-exporting ships earned an annual average of $96,100 in wages in benefits, compared to the U.S. average for all employees of $64,500.
Click here for a complete copy of the Ernst & Young study.