A drilling rig in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas
A drilling rig in the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas. Reuters

The U.S. natural gas industry will create 1.5 million jobs by 2015, largely because of surging production from unconventional shale beds that require hydraulic fracturing, according to an IHS study released Wednesday.

IHS also said the nation's 28 states that don't produce natural gas will benefit because their industries will be supporting the drilling and development taking place elsewhere. Between 2010 and 2015, natural gas-producing states are expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of 8 percent, whereas the country's employment rate is expected to grow by 1.6 percent, said IHS.

At a time when the U.S. economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession and struggling to create enough jobs to sharply reduce the unemployment rate, the growth in shale and other unconventional natural gas production is a major contributor to employment prospects and the U.S. economy, said IHS Vice President John Larson, the lead author of the study, adding the industry's benefits are not isolated to those states with natural gas drilling.