The US solar industry has created 6,735 new jobs across the country since August, 2010, a 6.8% growth rate, bringing to 100,237 the number of Americans working in the industry, according to a preview of The Solar Foundation’s “National Solar Jobs Census.” The 6.8% growth rate in US solar industry jobs compares to a nationwide job growth rate of 0.7% from August 2010-August 2011 as reported by the Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a 2% decline in jobs in fossil fuel electric generation.
“The U.S. solar industry is creating jobs at a far greater pace than the economy as a whole,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “The National Solar Jobs Census series provides a definitive measure of the U.S. solar workforce and its growth over time. It proves where smart solar energy policies are having the most impact both in terms of states and across the vast solar supply chain.”
“This is a sign of a thriving industry – due to the demand for lower cost, clean electricity that creates value in America,” added Danny Kennedy, president of Sungevity, an installer of residential solar power systems and member of The Solar Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The Solar Foundation’s full solar industry jobs census report will be released in Dallas October 17. It examines employment across the industry value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing and utilities, among others. The full census reports employment numbers for a total of 31 separate occupations overall and examines US solar industry employment at the state level.
Green LMI joined with The Solar Foundation to produce the report, while Cornell University provided technical assistance.
“By using high-quality research methodology, we can ensure that these numbers are as accurate as possible,” explained John Bunge, associate professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. “Using both primary and secondary data sources, along with careful statistical analysis, gives us high confidence in the results.”
I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.