2013 US Solar Industry Jobs Increased by 19.9 Percent

on February 03, 2014 at 4:00 PM

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A Solar Foundation report shows U.S. solar industry jobs increased by 19.9 percent, 10 times faster than overall job growth.

On January 27, 2014, the Solar Foundation (TSF), a non-profit research organization, released the 2013 National Solar Jobs Census, its fourth annual report on U.S. solar industry employment and projected growth. The report shows the U.S. solar industry continues to grow at a faster pace than the overall economy, supporting 142,698 jobs as of November 2013. Between September 2012 and November 2013, the solar industry added 23,682 jobs – an increase of 19.9 percent over TSF’s 2012 findings – at approximately 10 times the national average job growth rate of 1.9 percent.

TSF highlights solar industry employment grew by 53 percent – equivalent to approximately 50,000 new solar jobs – since its first census in 2010, with the solar installation sector accounting for more than 25,000 jobs. Over the past year, installation sector jobs witnessed the highest growth rate of 22 percent, adding 12, 500 employees. Drawing on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment survey, the census report notes conventional energy sector jobs grew at a much slower pace or declined over the same period.

According to the report, approximately 45 percent of solar energy establishments are expected to add jobs over the next 12 months while less than 1.9 percent are likely to cut jobs. The report projects a 15.6 percent solar industry job growth rate over the next 12 months, equivalent to approximately 22,240 new jobs. The installation sector is likely to lead with a 21 percent projected growth rate. By comparison, the overall U.S. economy is projected to grow by 1.4 percent over the same period.


Solar Employment Growth, 2010-2014; 2014 Projected (thesolarfoundation)

The report emphasizes solar industry employee diversity, with 26,738 women and 13,192 veterans employed across the U.S. solar industry. It also notes indirect jobs, combined with induced industry impacts, support an additional 435,000 jobs, bringing the total solar industry employment impact to approximately 600,000.

According to TSF, the steady decline in solar component prices has been a primary driver for continued industry growth. Other contributory factors include state renewable portfolio standards, federal tax incentives, and increased consumer awareness of solar products.

January 28, 2014 via Energy Solutions Forum

Energy Solutions Forum is an energy policy research and data company based in New York City. Follow @EnergySolForum for policy research and stay plugged in with ESF Calendar, the industry’s go-to resource for energy business events in and around NYC.