Energy Management

Solar jobs census finds solar employment on the rise

Source: The Solar Foundation

Nov 12, 2010

The Solar Foundation has released a review of the solar workforce in the United States. The report, titled, “National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce,” found that hiring in the solar workforce is on the rise. More than half of solar employers nationally plan to increase their workforce in the next year.

“Among other things, this study shows that investments made through Recovery Act — including the $2.3 billion in tax credits to U.S. based clean energy manufacturing — are already generating positive results,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The solar energy sector is an increasingly important source of good jobs for Americans. Fostering the growth of this emerging industry will help protect our environment, ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global economy, and offer great opportunities for the nation’s working families.”

As of August 2010, the National Solar Jobs Census 2010 identified more than 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar jobs in all 50 states. It also found that solar employers expect to increase the number of solar workers by 26%, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs by August 2011. This rate is significantly higher than the expected three percent net job loss in fossil fuel power generation and the economy-wide expectation of two percent growth over the same period.

The survey examined employment along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities and all other fields and includes growth rates and job numbers for 31 separate occupations. The report included data from more than 2,400 solar company survey respondents.

The National Solar Jobs Census 2010 was conducted by The Solar Foundation and Green LMI Consulting with technical assistance from Cornell University.