The number of green jobs increased by 157,746 to 3,401,279 in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said in a new report. At the end of 2011, jobs associated with green goods and services (GGS) represented 2.6% of the U.S. workforce.
California had the largest number of GGS jobs, with 360,245, accounting for 2.5% of employment in the state. The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of GGS employment, at 5.1%, and Oregon had the second-highest proportion, at 4.3%.
Ten states had over 100,000 GGS jobs in 2011: California (360,245), New York (266,308), Texas (227,532), Pennsylvania (167,397), Ohio (137,143), Illinois (136,447), Florida (117,433), North Carolina (108,094), Virginia (107,773) and Washington (101,593).
California experienced the largest increase in GGS employment, with an additional 17,366 GGS jobs, or 5.1%, added over the year. Maryland had the second-largest increase in GGS employment, with 14,143 GGS jobs, or 18.3%, added between 2010 and 2011.
Sector by sector
GGS employment accounted for 2.3% of private-sector jobs and 4.2% of public-sector jobs in 2011: The private sector had 2,515,200 GGS jobs, while the public sector had 886,080 GGS jobs.
Among private-sector industries, construction had the largest employment-rate increase, from 7.0 to 8.9 percentage points, while manufacturing had the most GGS jobs (507,168). Construction had 487,709 GGS jobs in 2011, constituting 8.9% of the sector's employment. The construction sector had the largest increase in GGS employment from 2010 to 2011, up 101,932, or 26.4%.
The trade sector had 223,079 GGS jobs in 2011, accounting for 1.1% of the industry's employment. This sector's increase of 17,512 GGS jobs, or 8.5% over the year, was the second-largest significant change in the private sector. GGS jobs in the leisure and hospitality services sector grew by 14.8%, to 23,696 jobs. In the transportation and warehousing sector, the number of GGS jobs decreased by 3,382 to 238,755, representing a decline of about 1.4%.
Utilities had 71,129 GGS jobs in 2011, or 12.9% of total private utilities employment. The private utilities sector added 2,098 GGS jobs in 2011, representing a 3.0% increase. Among the industries involved in private-sector electric power generation, nuclear electric power generation had the highest GGS employment, with 44,054 jobs in 2011. Hydroelectric power generation came in second, with 3,780 GGS jobs.
Wind energy generation came in third, with 2,724 GGS jobs, followed by biomass electric power generation (1,166), geothermal electric power generation (1,017) and solar electric power generation (522). (Note: Positions related to wind energy manufacturing were included in the manufacturing jobs category.) Other electric power generation had 525 GGS jobs in 2011.
The public sector had 886,080 GGS jobs in 2011, accounting for 4.2% of employment in the sector. Over the year, government GGS employment decreased by 14,890 (-1.7%). Local government had 424,201 GGS jobs in 2011 – the most in the public sector – representing 3.1% of local government employment. The transportation and warehousing sector had the largest GGS employment in local government, with 209,063 jobs.
In 2011, state government had 248,539 GGS jobs, or 5.5% of state government employment. Public administration led GGS employment in state government, with 164,952 GGS jobs. The federal government had 213,340 GGS jobs representing 7.5% of federal government employment in 2011, and the public administration sector had 139,884 GGS jobs – the most within federal government. The professional, scientific and technical services sector followed, with 39,714 GGS jobs.
Interestingly, the BLS notes that due to sequestration, it will no longer have the budget to calculate further studies on green jobs, including measurement of data on employment by industry and occupation for businesses that produce GGS; data on the occupations and wages of jobs related to green technologies and practices; and green career information and publications.