US green economy creates more jobs than oil and gas

Sometimes described as "green collar" jobs, they now outnumber fossil fuel industry jobs yet they remain fewer than in the IT-producing sector. The industries included range from manufacturing and public service provision, through to photovoltaics, wind, fuel cell, smart grid, biofuel and battery industries.

The annual expansion of green jobs between 2003 and 2010 did not surpass the general rate of economic growth – 3.4 percent as opposed to 4.2 percent respectively – the report found. However energy related segments including photovoltaics have “added jobs at a torrid pace,” reads the report.

In another plus side for the US economy, the manufacturing sector of the green economy comprises a large part of the total number of jobs, around 26 percent. In response to this news, social cause magazine and website “The Daily Good” declared in their daily e-newsletter, "America is making things again!"

Furthermore, Brookings found that this green manufacturing sector is adding value to the US economy by exporting twice as much of their production as compared to other parts of the economy. Wages are also higher in the green sector than median US wages, by 13 percent, and workers with lower levels of education were picking up many of the "green collar" positions.

In its recommendations based on the report’s findings, Brookings advised that both the public and private sector have a role to play in fostering the green economy. It argues that competition is strong, siting the efforts of other nations in, “bidding to secure global production” in the green sector. The report also outlined ways in which the government can provide this support, by encouraging the domestic renewable energy sector, reducing the costs of renewable energy adoption and pursuing energy market reform.

The "Sizing the Green Economy" report also advocates government facilitate affordable finance for renewable projects and investment and fosters innovation and research in green technologies.

While providing many recommendations and solutions, the Brookings report concludes with a statement, “will the nation marshal the will to make the most of those industries?”