The U.S. coal industry is in the midst of a transition. Changes in regulation and technological innovation from other fossils and renewables have affected its competitiveness. These could have significant impacts on the labor market where jobs could be lost. In this study, we investigate how changes in employment in the coal industry affect wages in 20 industries in 10 U.S. coal producing states. We assess how these transitions impact welfare programs, since coal producing regions are associated with higher poverty levels. Results show that in the long run, migration of coal workers decreased wages in the construction, manufacturing sectors. Point estimates reveal that an increase in separations of coal workers increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) caseloads. In states where coal mining has a smaller contribution to GDP, an increase in coal employment increases SNAP caseloads.

Nyakundi M. Michieka, Marcello Graziano, Marta Musso, Roger Fouquet, Energy transitions and labor market patterns in the U.S. coal industry, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics,
Volume 63, 2022, Pages 501-514, ISSN 0954-349X,

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