Solar Jobs Census 2011 finds 6.8% increase in solar jobs over past year

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A September 19 pre-release of the Solar Jobs Census 2011 found that employment in the solar industry grew by 6.8 percent over the past year, outpacing job creation in the rest of the economy.

The “National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce” was conducted by The Solar Foundation, Green LMI (a division of BW Research Partnership) and Cornell University. The study measured employment along the solar value chain – including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities, and more – between August 2010 and August 2011.

Photo Credit: The Solar Foundation

The preliminary data shows there are 100,237 Americans working in the U.S. solar industry, with 6,735 new workers across all 50 states in the past year.

This growth rate is significantly higher than the job growth rate for the economy overall, which was at a dismal 0.7 percent for the same period. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel electric generation industry lost two percent of its workforce.

“The U.S. solar industry is creating jobs at a far greater pace than the economy as a whole,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “The National Solar Jobs Census series provides a definitive measure of the U.S. solar workforce and its growth over time. It proves where smart solar energy policies are having the most impact both in terms of states and across the vast solar supply chain.”

The full report will be available at the Solar Power International ‘11 conference in Dallas on October 17.

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