Solar Jobs Outshine Fossil Fuels Job Growth

Jobs in the solar industry are outpacing job growth in traditional fossil fuel-based industries, according to data released from The Solar Foundation. The data, part of the National Solar Job Census 2011: A Review of the US Solar Workforce, counted 100,237 Americans working in the nation’s solar industry.

Since August 2010, the solar business added 6,735 workers across all 50 states, an increase of 6.8 percent, according to the report. Those numbers mean jobs in solar outpaced jobs created in the overall economy and jobs in fossil fuel electric generation. During the same period of time jobs in the overall economy grew by only 0.7 percent, whereas 2 percent of jobs in the fossil fuel sector were lost.

image via The Solar Foundation

Danny Kennedy, president of residential solar installation company, Sungevity and a Solar Foundation Board Member said the growth reinforces the fact that solar is a thriving industry. He called solar a job-creating phenomenon in a flat economy.

The full National Solar Jobs Census 2011 report will be made available at Solar Power International ‘11 in Dallas on Oct. 17. The Census examines 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. It also examines solar employment at the state level.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.

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