Census Shows Another Year of Double-Digit Solar Job Growth

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Our friends at The Solar Foundation released the latest National Solar Jobs Census yesterday – and it confirms that 2013 was another banner year for solar employment. We just love to bring this kind of news. Here are some of our favorite findings:

  • The growing U.S. solar industry now employs more than 142,600 Americans, a 20% increase over last year and a whopping 53% increase since 2010.
  • Last year, one in every 142 new jobs in the U.S. was created by the solar industry, and many more were saved by creating additional work opportunities for existing employees.
  • By comparison, over the same time period, the fossil fuel electric generation sector shrank by more than 8,500 jobs (a decline of 8.7%).
  • The solar industry is a strong employer of veterans of the U.S. Armed Services, who constitute 9.24% of all solar workers – compared with 7.57% in the national economy.
  • Solar companies report that cost savings are driving their clients’ decision making, as 51.4% of customers report going solar to save money, and another 22.9% because costs are now competitive with utility rates.
  • While all sectors added jobs, installers added the most solar workers over the past year, growing by 22%, an increase of 12,500 workers. (Editorializing on this one a bit: worth noting that installation jobs are inherently local to the markets they’re serving – build a market for solar, and you’re creating local jobs, simple as that).
  • Solar employment is expected to grow by 15.6% over the next 12 months, representing the addition of approximately 22,240 new solar workers.

That’s a lot of Americans working to build a cleaner, healthier, more resilient path forward on energy – with more to come. Go team go!

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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