At Community Renewable Energy, we believe that clean power isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for individual communities. And this Labor Day, we were reminded that careers in green energy continue to be a bright spot in the job creation landscape.
Over the summer, job creation in the US has held steady, while federal job creation and job creation in the East has dropped dramatically. As Gallup explains, “U.S. workers’ reports of hiring are up slightly over July 2012, while their reports of layoffs are about the same.”
So, what fields have been creating jobs, and what industries have been hiring? It turns out, renewable energy, and specifically, solar power.
A study that was just released by Environmental Entrepreneurs highlights some of the impressive progress:
- In the second quarter of 2013, 38,600 clean energy jobs were created.
- Solar power alone accounted for over 10,000 of the new jobs.
- Thanks to increased investment in renewables and clean transportation, Maryland and Hawaii join California as the states with the most green job creation.
“With Labor Day upon us and the country focused on jobs and the economy, clean energy and clean transportation projects continue to create jobs and drive economic growth from one end of the country to the other,” Environmental Entrepreneurs said.
Furthermore, according to Brookings, “The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole.” This is especially important when you consider that the middle class in America has been shrinking.
As I look at the ten states that added the most green jobs, the diversity is striking, proving that it’s more important for a state to embrace clean energy than for a state to be perceived as “sunny.” The top ten:
- California – 9,169 green careers created
- Hawaii – 5,000
- Maryland – 4,400
- Illinois – 3,400
- Oregon – 3,067
- Kansas – 2,758
- Missouri – 2,750
- Texas – 2,000
- Alaska – 612
- Nevada – 580
For more details, the Solar Foundation offers an interactive state-by-state breakdown of solar jobs.
What do you think about the future of green job creation in the US? Share your thoughts below or shoot us an email. We’d love to hear your insights.