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. 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.

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