WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors said increased domestic oil and natural gas production has helped stimulate the nation's manufacturing sector.
Virg Bernero, the mayor of Lansing, Mich., and chairman of a manufacturing task force for the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said cheaper domestic natural gas has boosted the metals and plastics manufacturing industries.
"We believe the energy revolution is helping the U.S. regain its footing in the manufacturing sector," he said in a statement Thursday.
The Conference of Mayors published a report with IHS Global Insight that says employment rates in the manufacturing sector of metropolitan areas has increased at a rate of 1.7 percent annually for the last three years in part because of the energy boom.
The accelerated rate of U.S. oil and natural gas production has strained existing pipeline capacity. The report from the Conference of Mayors said the increased demand for pipelines in part led to a 9.7 percent increase in employment in the steel, iron, fabricated materials and machinery manufacturing sectors from 2011-12.
The report adds employment in manufacturing industries tied to the energy sector should increase steadily at least through 2020.