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.