The coal industry is experiencing an unprecedented boom given the sharp increase in global energy consumption, prompting mining companies to offer better incentives to attract more workers.
Miners could be earning as much as $100,000 a year, and companies are now offering childcare for their children in an effort to take advantage of market dynamics and fill the shortfall in other energy sources, according to Bloomberg Oct. 6.
Companies have had to get creative to find workers to link to their activities.
“Now we’re holding job fairs all over just to find a few,” says Erin Higginson of Custom Staffing Services, which hires miners in the Illinois Basin.
Notably, the coal industry has declined significantly over the past few decades, to the extent that out of 180,000 miners, only 42,500 remained as of August.
On the other hand, there is a widespread perception that the coal industry is on the verge of extinction, given the ecological trends that accuse it of polluting the environment.
In addition, governments are strongly encouraging the controversial clean energy sources, despite the failures they experience when atmospheric conditions change.
An example of this was experienced in Texas last winter when record low temperatures left millions of Texans without electricity because wind power generators stopped and the grid collapsed.
“The windmills froze, so the power grid failed. Millions of Texans woke up Monday morning having to boil their water because with no electricity, the water couldn’t be purified,” commented noted anchor Tucker Carlson according to Townhall Feb. 16.
On the other hand, the coal boom is being fueled because world energy prices have skyrocketed.
In Europe, gas is essential for heating and industrial manufacturing, and its price has skyrocketed as much as electricity, coal, and oil.
By Oct. 5, “the front-month benchmark Dutch TTF gas contract was above €100 (about $116), surpassing €107 per megawatt hour near midday—a jump of more than 14% on the day and its highest price ever” reported Fortune.
With winter approaching, this is not good news, plus gas reserves are at the lowest level in a decade.
The energy shortage in China is equally serious, with several factories shutting down, which has had a significant impact on the Chinese economy.
As a result, analysts at Nomura Holdings predict that the Chinese economy will contract this quarter due to energy shortages. Growth forecasts for the third and fourth quarters of the year have been downgraded to 4.7% and 3%, from previous estimates of 5.1% and 4%, respectively.
The full-year growth forecast has also been cut from 8.2% to 7.7%. Goldman Sachs has revised down its third-quarter growth forecast for China to flat from 1.3% in the previous quarter.