Wired is running an article that points out the outstanding growth of green jobs in the USA and how they already employ 770,000 Americans. Green jobs have grown 250% since 1998.
The report differs from government projections or most industry association estimates in that it counts individual jobs, not entire industries. In other words, only the electricians who actually install solar panels were counted as green electricians.
“Although our numbers are conservative, our report provides the most precise depiction to date of the clean energy economy in the United States,” the Pew researchers wrote.
Green jobs are a major part President Obama’s plan for economic recovery and energy transformation. Manufacturing jobs have declined a few percent a year over the last decade, and in the bullet-point language of Whitehouse.gov, his administration wants to “Drive the development of new, green jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced.” The report shows that environmentally friendly jobs already exist, but most of the “green” jobs aren’t in clean energy at all. A full 65 percent of the jobs fell into the “conservation and pollution mitigation” category, which includes recycling.
That leaves a lot of room for growth in clean energy, even if some jobs are lost in traditional energy companies. Right now, there’s a small base. There were only 89,000 “clean energy” jobs in 2007. Current research indicates that for renewable energy sources to really make an impact on greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel dependence, we’re going to need a lot of manpower.