Jobs Boom From US Oil and Gas

Morning Money Memo…

A forecast by a well-known economics consulting firm says the oil and gas boom in the US is having a larger impact on jobs than previously thought. "The economic and employment contributions from unconventional oil and gas production are now being felt throughout the economy," increasing household incomes, boosting trade and contributing to a new increase in American competitiveness, a new study by IHS finds. The report says the jobs come in drilling, transportation, chemicals and other sectors. Fracking is part of the story. The report says unconventional oil and gas production are now being felt throughout the economy, increasing household incomes and boosting trade. This sector now accounts for more than 1.7 million jobs and will grow to nearly 3 million by the end of the decade. "The unconventional oil and gas revolution is not only an energy story, it is also a very big economic story," says best-selling author and IHS Vice Chairman Daniel Yergin. The impact is "only now becoming apparent."

More pain at the pump with the rising price of gas. The US Energy Department says the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded rose nearly 6 cents in the past week. "Gas prices have been slowly inching higher, not because of Labor Day weekend, but because of the situation in Syria, and it's certainly possible that nationally, prices may continue to go up," says Patrick DeHaan of But motorists have seen worse. "Gas prices, looking back at the calendar, stand quite a bit lower than where they were last year. In fact, the national average is 18 cents a gallon lower today than where it stood a year ago."

The stock market is watching the debate over Syria closely. The Dow Jones Industrial index rose 24 points yesterday, but that was a far smaller gain than earlier in the day. Stocks began their retreat after several key Republicans voiced their support for a bill to authorize US military action in Syria. "Investors are set to stay cautious with one eye on the Syria development" ahead of this week's G-20 gathering of world leaders in Russia and US employment data on Friday, said Gary Yau, an analyst at Credit Agricole. Oil prices rose to nearly $108 a barrel yesterday after falling over the weekend when President Obama announced that he would seek Congressional authorization for a military attack. This morning's quote for West Texas crude is $107.70 a barrel.

The Wall Street ratings firm Standard & Poor's was widely criticized for giving top ratings to risky securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Now S&P is calling a U.S. government lawsuit against the ratings agency "retaliation" over its downgrade of the country's credit rating. The Department of Justice filed civil charges against the rating agency in February and is seeking $5 billion in penalties. The suit claims S&P refused to warn investors that the housing market was collapsing because it would be bad for business. The ratings firm denies that.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio Twitter: daviesabc