GLOBE Foundation

Green jobs growing faster than jobs in the total economy

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Source: GLOBE Foundation

New data released in Next 10's second 'Many Shades of Green' report shows that green jobs in California continue to grow at a healthy clip, even in the wake of the economic crisis, at a rate faster than for the total economy.

From January 2008 to 2009, the most recent observable year, jobs in the green sector grew more than three times faster (three percent) than total employment in California (one percent). The Core Green Economy now accounts for 174,000 jobs in California.  The rate of growth of green jobs has been similar to that of software jobs since 2005.

'The green job data is significant because these jobs are growing in every region across the state, outpacing other sectors, and generating business across the supply chain,' said F. Noel Perry, founder of Next 10. 

'While green job numbers are modest relative to the overall economy, there are very few business sectors in a state as large as California that employ people across every region. The emergence of this vibrant Core Green Economy can be attributed to California's history of innovation, as well as our forward-looking energy and energy efficiency policies.'

Released at an event at Siemens Industry's rail vehicle manufacturing facility in Sacramento, 'Many Shades of Green: Regional Distribution and Trends in California's Green Economy, 2011' provides a comprehensive, bottom-up accounting of California's green economy, systematically tracking the most recent available data on employment, business establishments, location, and growth across every green sector and region of California.

Collaborative Economics, an economic research and consulting organization, prepared the report for Next 10, a nonpartisan research group. 

Siemens recently won a $466 million contract to build 70 electric locomotives in California, requiring 200 new jobs over the next 3 to 4 years at a factory that operates mostly on two megawatts of solar power. These positions are in addition to the company's newest 150 employees hired in the past two years to address America's burgeoning light rail transit market.

Report Highlights of California's Core Green Economy:

  • From January 2008-09, green jobs expanded by three percent statewide, compared to a one percent increase in overall jobs.
  • Between 1995 and 2009, jobs in California's Core Green Economy expanded from 111,000 to 174,000, growing 56 percent.
  • From 1995 to 2009, the Energy Generation sector created the most jobs in California's Core Green Economy, adding nearly 20,000 jobs across the state and almost 3,000 jobs over the most recent observable year (January 2008-2009).
  • The Bay Area and the Sacramento Area posted the strongest employment gains in the Core Green Economy, expanding by 109 percent and 103 percent respectively since 1995, followed by Orange County (67%) and the San Joaquin Valley (55%).
  • The Bay Area and the San Diego Region led in green job growth over the most recent observable year, expanding by eight percent and seven percent respectively (January 2008-2009).
  • While manufacturing employment represents only 11 percent of statewide employment, it represents 26 percent of all green employment. This sector increased ten percent over the most recent observable period (January 2008-2009).
  • Across all green segments, employment in the installation, sales, research and development, and finance and investment sectors more than doubled in California since 1995.

'Based on our research, California is well positioned to effectively leverage emerging opportunities and lead the expansion of clean energy markets worldwide,' commented Doug Henton, CEO of Collaborative Economics. 'Considering that, by revenue, energy represents the largest industry in the world, California's leadership in this sector is a major factor in our future economic health.'

The California report results are conistsent with the findings of research undertaken by the GLOBE Foundation on the emrging 'green economy' of British Columbia.

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