Events are bearing out forecasts that the coal industry will continue to decline in the United States, even if a minor bump in employment masks the overall trend. In the first quarter of this year, coal industry jobs declined by 1,266 workers, according to government employment data. That follows an increase of more than 2,000 coal jobs in the last quarter of 2016. Research by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, in fact, suggests that mismanagement of a shrinking sector will continue and even stable jobs will remain at risk. Coal mining employment is tracked by two U.S. agencies: the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Data from both show brief bumps in coal jobs at the end of 2016 but a return to declining employment in more recent reports.