US Wind Power Jobs Hit Record High, Up 20% In 2016

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The US wind power industry reached a record job high of 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, up 20% in the space of a year.

According to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the American wind power industry supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016, an increase of 20% over 2015. The report, US Wind Industry Annual Market Report, Year Ending 2015, heralded the strong job growth in the sector with the recent news that wind topped new energy capacity in the US in 2015.

“Wind power benefits more American families than ever before,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. “We’re helping young people in rural America find a job close to home. Others are getting a fresh chance to rebuild their careers by landing a job in the booming clean energy sector. With long-term, stable policy in place, and a broader range of customers now buying low-cost wind-generated electricity, our workforce can grow to 380,000 well-paying jobs by 2030.”

According to the AWEA, 2015’s job growth is primarily attributable to the increase in wind project development across the country, which required more than 38,000 employees. The country’s wind manufacturing industry also experienced a stabilization, and now supports 21,000 jobs across 43 states — up 10%.


Texas, unsurprisingly, leads with over 24,000 wind energy jobs, with Oklahoma moving into second place with 7,000 jobs, thanks to wind project construction. The top five is filled out with Iowa and Colorado both with 6,000 jobs, and Kansas, moving up 11 spots, now with over 5,000 jobs.

Jobs at wind farms, wind-related manufacturing facilities, or both, are now located in 70% of US Congressional districts.


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10 thoughts on “US Wind Power Jobs Hit Record High, Up 20% In 2016

  • Look for growth to continue. MidAmerican Energy just announced plans for another $3.6 Billion of wind development in Iowa in 2017-2018. That’s about 2,000 MW worth and should take Iowa’s generation to more than 40% wind. It could also make wind power the top source of electricity in the state.

  • Please fix your first chart. 😉 Colors should vary smoothly from 0 to 25,000. Otherwise with all the randomly mixed colors in your scale make it impossible to follow. Thank you.

    • I don’t think these are CT generated charts.

      I do agree that someone could have done a lot better with color selection. Increasing saturation of a single color like is used in the bottom chart would probably be a lot more informative.

      Second chart, white = 0?

      • I knew the SE had little wind, but zero? It is interesting that so many jobs (red dots) on that string from NC, through SC, to GA.

        • Possibly put there in an attempt to stimulate political support for wind in an area that until now hasn’t had a lot of actual wind generation?

  • How do you educate those who oppose wind farms?

    • 1) Explain that there have been multiple studies of the health effects of living near wind farms and there are no problems.

      2) Explain that some people may not want to look at wind turbines but the alternative is to continue to blow the tops off mountains or rip open the prairies with open pit mines. (below)

      3) Tell them that it’s sad, but most of us do not own our view. Most people have no control over what is built on someone else’s property. A wind turbine, to me, is much nicer to look at than a strip mall or big box store.


      • Here are some wind farm shots for comparison….


    • Thanks but I believe these folks are only concerned with what the utility companies are telling them. Personally, I prefer the wind to oil and gas production. At least it is renewable and non-polluting.

    • As an after thought, wonder when these folks ever thought that a gas peaking plant was a wonderful thing to build?

Comments are closed.