Facts on How Oil Affects the Economy


The oil and gas industry impacts the global as well as American economy in a big way. As per the US Department of Energy, 40 percent of total energy in the US is supplied by this sector. Approximately 9.2 million American jobs come from the gas and oil industry that add more than $1 trillion to the nation's economy. This accounts for about 7.5 percent of America's wealth.

Global Oil Consumption

Globally, oil consumption has shown a steady increase; the transportation sector accounts for most of this increase, especially, since there are very few substitutes for petroleum. The non-OCED countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), including India and China, account for 40 percent of the increase in world use.

More Facts

The oil and gas industry makes considerable contributions as an employer. It also makes contributions as a purchaser of goods and services. According to the US Oil and Natural Gas Industry, the total taxes paid by this industry in 2006 were $90 billion. The amount paid to US federal, local, and state tax in the same year was $28 billion; $53 billion was paid in foreign income taxes and $9 billion in US and foreign deferred taxes. Statistics show that the combined investment, which 57 oil and gas companies made back into the industry, was $174 billion. This accounts for 97 percent of the net income of these companies.


US oil and natural gas companies invested $121 billion into emerging technologies between 2000 and 2007, or about 65 percent of their total investments. Oil and gas companies account for 27 percent of the total shares owned by pension funds, 29.5 percent of the total shares owned by mutual fund and asset management companies, and 1.5 percent of the total shares owned by corporate management.

Impact on Employment and Labor Income

According to reports, each job in the oil and gas sector supports more than three jobs in other industries. The total labor income from jobs created directly and indirectly by the oil and gas sector accounted to about $558 billion, which is about 6.3 percent of the total national labor income. In 2007 the oil and gas sector directly provided 2.1 million jobs for US workers, which accounted for $200 billion in wages, salaries, and fringe benefits.

Effects on Industry

One out of every five dollars spent in support of green jobs is a direct result of the investments made by the oil sector. Some of the jobs impacted directly and indirectly by the oil and gas industry are airline pilots, airport ground personnel, accountants, drillers, electricians, lab assistants, tool and die makers, truck drivers, shop foremen, police officers, mechanics, heavy equipment operators, construction workers, and chemical engineers.

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