Petroleum Industry Continues To Drive California Economy & Job Creation

CONTACT: Colin Maynard, (916) 834-4274
SACRAMENTO, CA – The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) has released the findings of a new economic study produced by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) detailing the petroleum industry’s significant contributions to California’s state and local economies.
 LAEDC’s analysis, derived from public employment data, found the petroleum industry to be a major economic leader and revenue generator in California. Petroleum employs and generates:
  • 456,000 total jobs
  • $71.9 billion in economic value added, or roughly 3.4 percent of the state GDP
  • $21.2 billion in state and local tax revenue
  • $18.9 billion in sales and excise taxes, or $0.92 cents for every gallon of gasoline or diesel consumed
  • $3.6 billion in property taxes
“The history of oil production and refining in California is a story of innovation, science and ingenuity,” said WSPA President Catherine Reheis-Boyd. “It is this foundation that drives us to safely produce energy and refine the world’s cleanest gasoline and diesel.”
The industry’s workforce not only drives California’s economy, it also reflects the Golden State’s culturally diverse heritage and unique sense of opportunity. The LAEDC found the workforce to be ethnically and racially diverse with 51.5 percent white, 27.1 percent of Hispanic origins and 13.3 percent Asian. 
California’s petroleum industry offers employment opportunities to workers from a wide range of educational attainment. One third of workers carry high school credentials or less. Around 30 percent have earned an associate’s degree or attended some college while another 30 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
In spite of diverse educational backgrounds, the men and women working in the industry earn valuable, head-of-household incomes. In fact, industry employees earn double the wages of all private industry in California, bringing in $118,032 annually compared to $56,590 in other sectors. 

Regional Value Added 

The study also tallied the petroleum industry’s economic impacts and contributions in regions throughout the state. 
  • In Southern California, the industry continues to drive jobs and valuable revenue. More than 225,000 regional jobs generate $18.4 billion in labor income. Economic activity in the region contributes $11 billion in state and local tax revenue to fund critically important public programs, including health, education, road improvements, and economic development.
  • In California’s Central Valley, where the majority of the state’s energy production occurs, the petroleum industry supports more than 78,000 local jobs or 13 percent of the region’s entire workforce. Energy production in the region provides local and state government with $3.2 billion in tax revenue. 
  • In the Bay Area, a longtime refining center, the industry employs and creates 88,000 jobs. This amounts to more than $9 billion in labor income. The Bay Area also enjoys more than $4.2 billion in state and local tax revenue generated by refining, sales and property taxes, and labor income spending.
“Despite repeated fear tactics and attempts to limit consumer accessibility through infeasible legislation, the petroleum industry continues to deliver safe, affordable and reliable energy to Golden State consumers and businesses,” said Reheis-Boyd. “Before making decisions that could reverberate throughout the economy, state and local policymakers should first consider what is at stake – real jobs, hardworking men and women, valuable revenue, tangible economic opportunity, and sizable investments in local communities. Details matter.”


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