It's raining men
It is a curious gender imbalance in the data. If it's a robust trend, it begs the question of why. Hopefully it is not a burst of new inmates at the Western Penitentiary, but I have not heard of any big expansion there. So that leaves us with the potential shale explanation.
Incidental to the story is what may be the most honest admission I've yet seen captured in the record of the continuing state of the shale workforce in Pennsylvania. From a local business owner primarily in the shale biz:
Drilling probably isn't making the region younger because most workers in drill crews don't change residences, said Daniel Donahue, president of Indiana County-based Falcon Drilling.
He expanded the company from 100 employees when he bought it in 2011 to 325 employees, but the drillers come from all over and typically live in hotels for the two weeks they're on a job site, said Donahue, 35, of Fox Chapel.
“The guys we're hiring, they don't come to Indiana,” he said.
Seems a pretty authoritative source? We all know that of course, but the industry just does not like to talk about it in such stark terms. If you read the immediate next quote... I really think the honesty there really caught the Range spokesperson off guard. It isn't quite how the memo reads on how these stories are supposed to play out.
But back to the gender imbalance. The hypothesis that this could be an artifact of shale development is at least plausible given the employment patterns in the industry. Looking at the somewhat broader Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction industries, it remains mostly a men only story.