The role hydraulic fracking plays in the local economies of the towns and councils encompassed by the Marcellus Shale region is often overlooked when analyzing the economic costs and benefits of the practice. One of the best ways to measure the presence of hydraulic fracturing in counties is to compare well numbers. In a report by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, counties were categorized into three different classes based on the number of natural gas wells present. Counties had either over 200, between 20 and 200, or less than 20 wells each, and a relationship between these numbers and economic growth in the areas can be clearly seen. Counties in Pennsylvania with over 200 natural gas wells were found to have a per-capita increase of around 19 percent, as opposed to counties with between 20-200 and fewer than 20 wells, which experienced per-capita income growth of 14 and 12 percent, respectively. These statistics were gathered for economic growth between 2007 ans 2011.
On top of the local per-capita income increase caused by fracking, community job growth has also been shown to rise where wells are more prevalent. Counties in Pennsylvania with greater than 200 natural gas wells experienced a 7 percent annual job growth rate over the 4 years of the study, whereas counties with less than twenty wells on average experienced a loss of 3 percent in the same category. In 2013, New York state initiated a moratorium halting the construction of any new hydraulic fracking wells. Projections using data collected from Pennsylvania suggest that had New York not passed this moratorium counties in that state too would have experienced local economic growth.