1.3% of New US Jobs Came from the Solar Industry in 2014

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1.3% of New US Jobs Came from the Solar Industry in 2014

Allison Donnelly for Zondits, January 22, 2015

“Jobs” are still very much a key concern in the United States these days: President Obama’s State of the Union address yesterday used the word 19 times. Few industries have seen the explosive growth in jobs that the solar industry has. A new report by the Solar Foundation found that the solar industry added 31,000 jobs since November 2013 – that’s a 21.8% growth last year and 86% over the last four years. This expansion is making a difference, in that the solar industry accounted for 1.3% of all jobs created in the United States last year. This is despite an overall decrease in jobs from the power sector, as reported by the Energy Information Administration in December. While fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydropower generation all reported decreases from 2011‒2014, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal all reported increases. None of these increases was as marked as solar, which had a 201% increase over the same time span.

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Solar Industry Creating Jobs Nearly 20 Times Faster than Overall U.S. Economy

Energy Central, January 15, 2015

The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, today released its fifth annual National Solar Jobs Census < http://TheSolarFoundation.org >.

The Census found that the U.S. solar industry employed 173,807 Americans in 2014, a figure that includes the addition of more than 31,000 solar jobs over the previous year, representing 21.8 percent growth in solar industry employment since November 2013 .  Solar employment grew nearly 20 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.1 percent in the same period.

“The solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth and job creation,” said Andrea Luecke , President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “The solar sector has grown an extraordinary 86 percent in the last four years, adding approximately 81,000 jobs. Our Census findings show that one out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry – nearly 1.3%  of all jobs. It also shows for the fifth consecutive year, the solar industry is attracting highly-skilled, well-paid professionals. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening our nation’s economy.”

The solar installation sector is already larger than well-established sectors of fossil fuel generation, such as coal mining (93,185 jobs). The solar installation sector added nearly 50% more jobs in 2014 than the total created by both the oil and gas pipeline construction industry (10,529), and the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry (8,688).  Solar employers are also optimistic about 2015, expecting to add another 36,000 jobs over the coming year.[i]

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