The U.S. oil and natural gas drilling boom is helping to generate thousands of American jobs, said Andrew Lyon, a principal in PricewaterhouseCoopers' National Economics and Statistics group. In 2011, there were about 800,000 jobs directly related to oil and natural gas drilling in the country. "Given the sluggish employment growth in the United States overall, this has been a very significant support for the economy," Lyon said.

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