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Oil and gas industry boosted St. Tammany payroll 61 percent since 2005

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

Concerned citizens have been fighting Helis Oil & Gas on the company’s proposal to frack in St. Tammany Parish for months, but it turns out that oil and gas plays a larger role in the parish’s economy. Faimon A. Roberts III reports for the New Orleans Advocate that a study prepared by Taimerica Management Co. found oil and gas business in the parish has flourished in recent years.

Since 2004, the year before Hurricane Katrina, the number of oil and gas companies in the parish has doubled, the number of their employees has increased sevenfold and their cumulative payroll has expanded by a factor of 15, the report says.

Related: Survey shows not everyone in St. Tammany opposes fracking

The study utilizes information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Louisiana Workforce Commission, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to get a sense of the industry’s importance in St. Tammany.

In 2013, more than 7 percent of the total employment in the parish, or 5,900 workers, was in the oil and gas industry, the report says. Even more dramatically, 25 percent of the total payroll, or $900 million, was from oil and gas in 2012, and the industry accounted for 61 percent of the payroll growth in the parish since 2005, the report says.

The report did note that many of the jobs provided by the oil and gas industry are office-based, and that drilling would bring more workers and therefore boost the economy further. Considering Louisiana’s rate of economic growth lags behind the rest of the nation, successful fracking in St. Tammany now has added appeal.

Check out Roberts’ article for all the details regarding the study: Oil and gas industry an important part of St. Tammany economy, report says

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