A new report by Next 10 has found that green jobs were twice as resilient following economic recession in California. New data published in the 2012 Many Shades of Green: California’s Shift to a Cleaner, More Productive Economy report show that “from January 2009 to January 2010, the state’s overall economy registered job losses of seven percent. Those losses are more than two times higher than the job losses tracked in the state’s Core Green Economy, which saw a three percent loss in jobs.”
Furthermore, looking at the matter from a longer term perspective shows even more dramatic differences. “In the long term, employment in California’s Core Green Economy grew by 53 percent from 1995-2010, while jobs in the wider economy grew by 12 percent.”
“The report suggests that amid volatile prices and tight markets, green entrepreneurs and their products and services will become increasingly competitive,” the LATimes reports.
“California’s strong foundation of environmentally focused innovation and research, as well as its early-adopter culture, will also help.”
Jobs in Old and New Roles
Additionally, industries formerly not serving “clean tech” can survive by transitioning to a clean/green focus. Electricians and machinery mechanics are some such workers who can easily make such a switch.
“And new roles such as solar energy installation manager, chief sustainability officer and biofuels production manager could earn workers annual incomes well into the six figures.”
Green Manufacturing Jobs
Another interesting point, from the report, is the green economy’s strong presence in manufacturing in California:
“Manufacturing represents a strong sector in the value chain, accounting for 27 percent of jobs in the Core Green Economy compared to just ten percent in the total economy….
“Manufacturing jobs in California’s Core Green Economy shot up 53 percent from 1995 to 2010, while manufacturing jobs on the whole dropped by 18 percent. In the near term, manufacturing jobs in the state’s core green economy grew by one percent; in the overall economy, they dropped by eight percent.”
Leading Green Sectors
And, worth noting is that several sectors of the green economy saw growth during this tough time. “While employment and business growth varies across the 15 green industry segments, Energy Infrastructure (+14%), Advanced Materials (+4%), Clean Transportation (+1%), and Energy Generation (+1%) bucked recessionary trends, exhibiting growth during the recession from Jan. 2009- Jan. 2010. ”
I'm the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular clean energy website in the world, and Planetsave, a leading green and science news site. I've been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and I've been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, bicycling, and wind energy for the past few years. You can also find my work on Scientific American, Reuters, Think Progress, GE's ecomagination site, several sites in the Important Media network, & many other places. To connect on some of your favorite social networks, go to zacharyshahan.com or click on some of the links below.