Coal-mining employment in the U.S.
In 2014, West Virginia and Kentucky held the most coal-mining jobs in the United States, totaling 18,330 jobs and 11,834 jobs, respectively. Based on production regions, the Appalachian region held a significant portion of available coal-mining jobs. The total number of coal-mining employment in the United States reached 74,931 jobs in 2014. More than half of those jobs were in underground mines. Similarly, in West Virginia, there were 14,338 underground mining jobs and 3,992 surface mining jobs as of 2014.
In the mining industry, there were 793,000 jobs in the United States as of 2012, an increase from 502,000 jobs in 2003. With the exclusion of the oil and gas sector, there were 206,000 mining industry jobs in 2014 in the U.S., with over 18.5 billion U.S. dollars in employee compensation. Coal mining employment increased in the early 2010s due to increases in exports and decreases within local coal mines. Decreases in productivity within the mines require more workers per unit of production. Although energy derived from coal still produces a large part of the United States' electricity, the solar power industry is currently providing many more jobs than the coal mining industry is.