An oil pump jack operates near a vacant farm structure outside Williston, North Dakota.
Reuters/Jim Urquhart
Bleak.

American miners and farmers lost billions of dollars in pay in the first quarter

By Melvin Backman

The first quarter wasn’t just rough on the US energy industry—farmers were also hard hit.

A state-by-state look (pdf) at personal incomes from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that those two industries, the former of which is folded into the mining sector for the purposes of the report, were the sorest spots in an otherwise fairly mild quarter.

On a US dollar basis, Texas’s mining workers (which includes oil and gas drilling) lost a collective $2.7 billion in pay compared to the last quarter of 2014, more than the next 10 states combined.

And while much of the east coast was buried in snow, states out west were coping with drought (paywall), which depressed agricultural output and caused a lot of hardship for farmers.