Matt and Paul are on a tear about how resource booms aren’t really a solution to America’s jobs problem.

I am not so sure, and I mean that literally. I am just not sure.

The thing to note though is that resource extraction is extremely capital intensive. That’s why the jobs directly associated with even an enormous value of resource extraction are small.

However, it also means that the supply chain effects are much bigger. For example,  I would expect more people to be employed in the construction of oil wells and pipelines than actually employed by running the oil wells.

And, I am 95% sure that in the payroll series they go under the heading specialty trade contractors, non-residential construction.

In addition, we should see increased demand for industrial equipment, especially earth moving equipment. We should also see all along the line an increase in the demand for fabricated metals.

Then there is the fact that these jobs pay very high wages, which mean that the per job multiplier should be quite large.

When you put that together, its not immediately clear that the effect is not noticeable on a national scale.

In full disclosure I should note that these are also sweat and gruel jobs which makes me especially sensitive to their existence. That there are fewer places in the modern world for hard working, non-intellectual men to earn a good living is something I find personally saddening.

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