Coal-mining employment in West Virginia from 2009 to 2015, by mine type

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20092011201320142015
Underground14,84216,96315,69414,33812,555
Surface6,8296,3444,5873,9922,935
Total21,67123,30720,28118,33015,490
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About This Statistic

This statistic shows the coal-mining employment in West Virginia from 2009 to 2015, by mine type. In 2009, 21,671 people were working in West Virginia's coal industry in total. Of that number, nearly 15 thousand of the employees worked in underground coal mines.


Coal-mining in West Virginia

Coal-mining in West Virginia totaled 15,490 jobs in 2015, with 12,555 jobs located in underground mines and 2,935 jobs dedicated to surface mines. Based on underground coal mine production, West Virginia is one of the top states in the country. In the Appalachian region, where West Virginia is located, there were nearly 38 thousand coal mining jobs in 2015, down from nearly 45 thousand in 2014. Within West Virginia, 23 counties produced coal in 2014, with the McDowell County producing the most. In West Virginia, business taxes paid by the coal and utility industry account for over half of the total business taxes paid.

In 2009, coal was extracted from 51 different coal seams in the state, and there are 65 seams located in the region that are considered economically viable. While West Virginia is not the largest producer of coal in the United States, it nevertheless remains one of the largest producers in the United States, only surpassed by Wyoming. In 2015, Wyoming produced 375.8 million short tons of coal, and West Virginia produced some 95.6 million short tons. Despite being one of the largest producers in the United States, coal consumption is greater in many other U.S. states than in West Virginia.

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