In an age where employment is touch-and-go for most economies, the green jobs sector is growing faster than any other. A Pew Charitable Trusts report on the Clean Energy Economy counted 770,000 jobs in all 50 states that met the “double bottom line” of economic growth and environmental sustainability. Clean energy economy jobs grew by 9.1% between 1998 and 2007, compared to the 3.7% in overall job growth in those years. Venture capital investment totaled $12.6 billion in the clean tech sector between 2006 and 2009.
A new report from the Global Climate Network predicts that the world’s eight leading economies will create 20 million new jobs between now and 2020. In the U.S. the stimulus package and the American Clean Energy and Security Act could help create as many as 1.9 million new green jobs in the period. The move to a “smart grid” could create 270,000 jobs and a further 138,000 if U.S. smart grid technologies are exported to a global market.
According to the Pew report, 65% of the national clean energy jobs in 2007 went to conservation and pollution mitigation. Clean energy accounted for 11.6% of new jobs in the period, energy efficiency for 9.5%, environmentally friendly production 7%, and training and support 6.8%. However, environmentally friendly production saw the most growth: up 67% from 1998 to 2007 (followed by clean energy, up 23%).
Of the top 10 clean-tech employers around the world identified by Clean Edge, four are in the U.S.: Illinois, Washington, Arkansas and California. Clean Edge defines the top five sectors for clean-tech jobs in the U.S.
In descending order they are:
Bio-fuels and Biomaterials
onservation and efficiency
Smart grid and wind power