From 2Q15 to 1Q16, U.S. wind power jobs increased 32 percent and solar jobs increased 25 percent, while geothermal jobs decreased 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report.
The report said that U.S. traditional energy and energy efficiency sector jobs increased by just under 5 percent, adding 300,000 net new jobs. These sectors now employ about 6.4 million people. In addition, electric power generation and fuels technologies employ more than 1.9 million workers, 800,000 of which were employed in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear, and advanced/low emission natural gas.
Just under 374,000 people work for solar firms, and an additional 102,000 workers are employed at wind farms, according to the report.
The report also noted that electric power generation firms expect roughly 7 percent employment growth for 2017.
“These energy-related sectors are relatively less diverse compared to the overall national workforce,” the report said. “Women are a smaller portion of the workforce in these sectors, ranging from 22 to 34 percent…[and t]he percentage of ethnic and racial minorities is slightly lower than the national average.”
Veterans, however, comprise about one in 10 workers in the energy-related sector, “higher than the national average of seven percent,” the report said.