Despite President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to bring back coal jobs in America, a study of the Montana coal industry, conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi in partnership with the Taimerica Management Company, foresees a loss of between 800 to 4,300 coal industry jobs over the next ten years in 15 southeastern Montana counties.  Those jobs losses are predicted in both direct coal and industry-related jobs.

 

KTVQ.com reports that the study acknowledges many uncertainties and variables in the coal industry.  Montana coal mines currently employ more than 1300 workers directly with an average wage of $27 per hour.  With utilities replacing coal power with natural gas and other renewable resources, the Energy Information Administration forecasts a 30 percent decline in coal generation over the next decade.  Montana’s economy is more favorable for transitioning workers into other employment.