Kentucky coal production declined 11% year over year in the first quarter, while coal mining jobs decreased 5.7%
The state produced 10.2 million tons of coal in the quarter, a 1.5% increase from the final quarter of 2017, according to its Energy and Environment Cabinet. Western Kentucky, which accounted for 57% of the state's production, increased output by 10.1% quarter to quarter, while Eastern Kentucky decreased output by 8.2%.
Underground mining, by far the most common method in Kentucky, grew 11% from the previous quarter but declined 10.3% year over year. Surface mines produced just over 2 million tons, a 24.4% decrease from the fourth quarter.
Employment fell by 421 jobs in the quarter to 6,181, a 6.4% drop from the fourth quarter of 2017. The biggest job losses occurred in Pike and Muhlenberg counties.
Coal production in Kentucky is down 67% from the same period 10 years ago, while employment has fallen 68%.