Midwest lost 8.9% of clean energy jobs in 2020, but there’s hope for a rebound


After years of rapid growth, clean energy jobs in the Midwestern United States fell by 8.9% — or approximately 66,000 — by the end of 2020, according to a new report by the nonpartisan business group E2 and Clean Energy Trust.

While at one point in the year as many as 131,600 Midwesterners working in clean energy had filed for unemployment benefits, the sector’s rebound of 10.7% by the end of the year surpassed the national rate of overall employment recovery — an optimistic signal to the authors.

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“These jobs prove to be resilient, rebounding faster than the overall Midwest workforce,” said Ian Adams, managing director at Clean Energy Trust. “We see the clean energy industry as ripe with opportunity for innovation and growth – and look forward to supporting the impressive climate entrepreneurs in this space.”

Source: Clean Jobs Midwest

The group tracked unemployment data in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin for the annual report, now covering its sixth year.

The report brought (some) good news, too: electric vehicle and hybrid vehicle sectors saw net job gains in 2020, now totaling 65,212 workers in the region, combined.

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The report cited Minnesota’s newly adopted clean car standards, Michigan’s goal of decarbonization by 2050, and Illinois’s proposed comprehensive clean energy legislation as reasons for a continued rebound.

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John Engel is the Content Director for Renewable Energy World. For the past decade, John has worked as a journalist across various mediums -- print, digital, radio, and television -- covering sports, news, and politics. He lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Malia. Have a story idea or a pitch for Renewable Energy World? Email John at john.engel@clarionevents.com.

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