Green Job Sector Shows Steady Growth

By Published On: December 11, 2009

A report released December 9 reveals that “green” employment in certain areas of California rose 36 percent between 1995 and 2008. “This study shows that we can grow green jobs and stimulate our economy while addressing important environmental issues at the same time,” stated Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Green jobs” include positions in renewable energy, energy efficiency, recycling, water efficiency and alternative transportation. The growth in jobs in renewable energy, efficiency, and other parts of the green field, occurred alongside a 15 percent increase in total jobs statewide over the same period. The statewide gain in green jobs since 1995 is about 40,000--from about 120,000 to 160,000, according to Many Shades of Green by Next10, a non-partisan group funded by venture capitalists. Although green jobs are growing faster than the overall stalled economy, they represent a tiny percent of the 17.2 million jobs in the state. Much of the job increase, with the exception of the Sacramento Area, came in the rural regions. “This means that green jobs even in these areas with a smaller economic base are growing faster than the general economy,” found the report. The specific areas of employment growth detailed in the report include a 63 percent rise from 1995 to 2008 in energy efficiency jobs. Growth in efficiency jobs in the Sierra Region was reported to have soared 194 percent, and by 125 percent in the Central Coast. Many of the jobs in the alternative energy industry are in the solar business--which represents 66 percent of employment in that sector, Next10 reported. But while total employment in solar grew 63 percent, its percentage of employment in this sector of the green jobs market has not increased. As a share, wind energy dropped from 11 to 6 percent.

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