fewer coal jobs

The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, a non-profit organization, has released a study showing that the number of jobs created by large, new coal-fired power plants falls below the number promised before the plants were approved.

The report found that job creation in the host counties for five of the six plants analyzed fell short of initial job estimates. Overall, of the six plants studied in five counties around the country, 56 percent of every 1,000 jobs promised materialized.  In four of the five counties, coal plant construction delivered 27 percent of the jobs originally projected.

According to the Ochs Center, the six largest new plants that became operational between 2005 and 2009 were analyzed for the study. Researchers examined public data for each plant including employment data and labor retention rates for the periods before, during and after construction. Local job retention rates in each of the six counties declined during construction of the coal plants, suggesting that some new jobs went to workers coming from outside of the host county.

Pottawattamie County, Iowa, home of the Walter Scott 4 plant, was the only host county that experienced an increase in construction employment that matched the predicted levels. The other plants studied, which failed to meet their predicted job creation levels, were Oak Grove 1 and Oak Grove 2 in Robertson County, Texas, Nebraska City 2 in Otoe County, Neb., Cross 3 and Cross 4 in Berkeley County, S.C., Weston 4 in Marathon County, Wisc. and Sandow 5 in Milam County, Texas.

The full report is available here.

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