Eastern KY coal employment fell by another 916 jobs last quarter; employment now 42% lower than it was 2 years ago http://t.co/5PBSkrbj8q
— KY Policy (@KyPolicy) August 7, 2013
I’m not sure if the above tweet is meant to convey something negative, but I certainly don’t view it as downside. While productivity has grown tremendously, employment in coal has been in decline for a very long time and thank goodness it has!
The trend translates to fewer coal-related deaths, both in mining disasters and (later) black lung. The downside here isn’t that fewer people are employed in coal mines, it’s that these people are unemployed. That’s a much better problem than black lung or having lost a working-age parent to a tragic and premature death.