West Virginia coal mines struggling through hiring shortage as demand increases worldwide

Coal mines struggling through hiring shortage as demand for coal increases worldwide

In Benwood, West Virginia, money comes in as coal goes out. Coal mines are going through a hiring shortage. Global demand for coal increased by 6% last year and could rise more this year.

In Benwood, West Virginia, money comes in as coal goes out.

"They can’t mine it fast enough," said Benwood Economic Development Director Frank Longwell. "That’s how we pay our bills here in the community."

Longwell remembers when coal mines were so popular, they were turning away job applicants. You can make $100,000 a year mining coal in Benwood. But coal miners are going through a hiring shortage, which is hurting production. 

COAL MAKING COMEBACK AS EUROPE DILUTES DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN NATURAL GAS

"The main complaint that I hear on a daily basis: ‘We need people,’" Longwell said. "Some of the production does get cut back because they don’t have the people." 

Benwood, West Virginia, supplies coal all around the world. (FOX Business / Fox News)

COAL SHORTAGES PUSH UP PRICES, WEIGH ON ECONOMIES

Coal mining is a demanding job. Benwood is losing coal miners because of that. 

"It’s just too much," Longwell said. "Twelve hours, six days a week. That kind of thing."

Coal mines are struggling to find workers as global demand increases. (FOX Business / Fox News)

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

And they might not be coming back. 

"Getting enough sufficient levels of labor into those mines to be able to increase production, they just can’t really do it that much," said West Virginia University business and economic research expert Brian Lego. 

The shortage of coal miners is hurting coal production in Benwood. (FOX Business / Fox News)

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

As a result, companies have had to cut back. Global demand for coal increased by 6% last year and could rise even more this year. 

"We’re seeing prices climbing rather aggressively over the past several months," Lego said. "Due in large part to Ukraine, but also to the global growth in general."

Source: Read Full Article