Solar jobs to increase in US in 2011

The report, “National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce”, which was published back in October, says that despite stagnation in other industries, the solar sector is looking positive.

Indeed, solar employers have reportedly said they expect to increase the number of solar workers by 26 percent, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs, by next August. As of this August, the census identified more than 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar jobs in the country. The report says this 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.

“Among other things, this study shows that investments made through Recovery Act – including the USD$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.”

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. It was conducted by The Solar Foundation and Green LMI Consulting with technical assistance from Cornell University.