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West Virginia Coal Mine Jobs In 2021 Were Fewest Since 1890

Curtis Tate
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, speaks to a group of UMWA retirees on Capitol Hill on April 26, 2017. UMWA President Cecil Roberts, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. David McKinley, R-West Virginia flank Manchin.

West Virginia mines produced about 90 million tons of coal in 2021, according to the Office of Miners Safety Health & Training.

That’s up from 2020’s 72 million tons – the lowest number since 1915. However, the state’s coal mines employed fewer workers last year than they did in 2020.

Coal mine employment stood at just below 12,000 in 2021 – the lowest number since 1890.

According to state data, Marshall County produces the most coal and employs the most workers.

Northern West Virginia produces more than Southern West Virginia. Until recent years, it was the reverse.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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