• SSTI poll shows overwhelming support for innovation platform

    More than 90 percent of the electorate support expanded efforts to strengthen the key elements of a knowledge-driven economy. Members can sign up for a webinar on how the poll can inform your communications.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • A directory of responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

    SSTI is cultivating this directory of federal, private and state actions and resources broadly affecting tech-based economic development efforts.

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Sorting Through the Newest Energy Jobs Numbers

April 28, 2016

Last month, the Department of Energy (DOE) released its first United States Energy and Employment Report (USEER) in an effort to articulate in clearer terms the sector’s wide-ranging impact on the national economy. While this report covers the entirety of the energy spectrum, a related report released just weeks after, Clean Jobs America: A Comprehensive Analysis of Clean Jobs in America, looks only at those jobs related to the clean energy economy. Based on SSTI’s analysis, Clean Jobs America suggests that there are more than 2.5 million clean energy jobs in the United States, or 44 percent of the 5,729,882 energy jobs highlighted in the DOE report.

A recommendation included in the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review was to establish an interagency working group – including the Departments of Labor and Commerce – to reform existing data collection systems, and to provide more consistent definitions and quantification of energy jobs across every sector in the economy. In late March, the DOE released the first annual USEEER, addressing three of the major gaps that had existed in previous energy employment data. These include an inability to appropriately assess:

  • Business activities essential to the operation of traditional energy companies classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) within the business activities of other sectors;
  • Jobs associated with the production of renewable energy such as wind, solar, geothermal, etc.; and,
  • Jobs associated with energy efficiency.

In a related study released by Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national nonpartisan advocacy group focused on environmentally sound economic policy and written by authors from BW Research, Clean Jobs America: A Comprehensive Analysis of Clean Jobs in America highlights those occupations within energy sectors that could be classified as part of the clean energy economy. Conducted in conjunction with partners Clean Energy Trust, The Solar Foundation, and Advanced Energy Economy, the authors of the report find that more than 2.5 million people are employed in clean energy jobs, including more than 400,000 in renewable energy fields such as solar or wind power.

Because the Clean Jobs America report draws from the same data as the DOE’s USEER, some basic conclusions can be drawn. Based on SSTI’s analysis, Clean Jobs America suggests that there are more than 2.5 million clean energy jobs in the United States, or 44 percent of the 5,729,882 energy jobs highlighted in the DOE report.  Energy efficiency jobs – nearly 1.9 million – represent approximately three-fourths of the total clean energy employment in the United States, according to the Clean Jobs America report.

Employment around gasoline and diesel motor vehicles, as well as traditional methods for electric power and fuels transmission, accounted for more than one million jobs in each category, representing the bulk of non-clean energy jobs. Combining the aggregate employment data from both reports, the attached excel spreadsheet provides additional insight into how clean energy jobs fit in with broader energy employment in the United States.

To supplement the Clean Jobs America report, the authors also released Clean Jobs Midwest, a more detailed look at 12 Midwest states. The report, which includes breakdowns for each Midwest state and mirrors the methodology of the Clean Jobs America report, notes that 568,979 workers are employed in clean energy sectors in the Midwest. Again, roughly three-fourths of these clean energy jobs are related to energy efficiency, levels similar to the national findings. With 113,918 jobs, Illinois leads the Midwest in clean energy employment, followed by Ohio, home to just over 100,000 clean energy jobs.

Several initiatives in Illinois – especially in the Chicago area – are devoted to the clean energy economy. Clean Energy Trust, which was one of the partners on the Clean Jobs America and Clean Jobs Midwest studies, focuses on growing early stage clean energy businesses in the Midwest through direct investment, venture development, and advocacy. Energy Foundry invests early stage venture capital in energy startups with transformational technologies and also manages the Smart Grid Technology Cluster, one of the Regional Innovation Clusters funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. More than one-third of advanced grid jobs in the Midwest are located in Illinois, according to the Clean Jobs Midwest report. Energy Foundry is also a co-founder and anchor tenant for Coalition:Energy, a shared working space focused on the region’s energy community.

 

U.S. Department of Energy, United States Energy and Employment Report: http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2016/03/f30/U.S.%20Energy%20and%20Employment%20Report.pdf

Clean Jobs America: A Comprehensive Analysis of Clean Jobs in America: http://www.e2.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CleanJobsAmerica_FINAL.pdf

dept of energy, energyFile Energy Employment 042816.xlsx