Hiring in the solar workforce is on the rise, and more than half of solar employers nationally plan to increase their workforce in the next year, according to ‘National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce,’ a report released by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit solar education and research organization.
The survey examined employment along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities and all other fields, and includes growth rates and job numbers for 31 separate occupations. The report includes data from more than 2,400 solar company survey respondents.
As of August, the National Solar Jobs Census 2010 identified more than 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar jobs in all 50 states. It also found that solar employers expect to increase the number of solar workers by 26%, representing nearly 24,000 net new jobs by August 2011.
By comparison, the fossil-fuel power generation sector is expected to have a 3% net job loss, and the overall economy is expected to have a 2% growth rate over the same period.
"Among other things, this study shows that investments made through [the American Recovery and Reinvestment] Act – including the $2.3 billion in tax credits to U.S.-based clean energy manufacturing – are already generating positive results," says Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis." The solar energy sector is an increasingly important source of good jobs for Americans. Fostering the growth of this emerging industry will help protect our environment, ensure the U.S. remains competitive in the global economy and offer great opportunities for the nation's working families."
SOURCE: The Solar Foundation