Kentucky's Coal Employment Reaches Record Low
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s data for the second quarter of 2013 shows that coal production dropped 1.3 percent statewide in that time period. There was a slight drop in both the Eastern and Western Kentucky coalfields, but Western Kentucky still produced slightly more coal—50.2 percent of the total production.
But the more dramatic drop is in employment. The data shows a six percent drop since the first quarter of the year. There are now about 12,300 coal miners employed in the state—the lowest since the state began keeping records in 1927.
This data is only the latest in a multi-year trend of falling production and unemployment, fueled by a variety of diverse and complicated factors like stricter pollution regulations, cheap and abundant natural gas and the decline of easily-accessible reserves.