Clean-Energy Job Growth Continues to Lag
Thursday, November 12, 2020
NEW YORK -- Three of four clean-energy workers who lost their jobs at the beginning of the COVID pandemic still are out of work, according to a new report.
The study from E2, E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy said almost half a million clean-energy workers nationwide have lost their jobs since the end of last year. That includes solar- and wind-energy installers, factory workers and building-efficiency contractors.
October marked the fourth straight month of less than 1% job growth in the clean-energy sector.
Philip Jordan, vice president of BW Research Partnership, which produced the report, believes the ongoing pandemic is a major factor in the slow rebound.
"Getting the virus under control is critically important because a lot of these jobs depend on people going to buildings to work," Jordan explained. "They depend on feeling comfortable and safe allowing contractors to come into your home or your office."
He added uncertainty about the pandemic's overall impact on the economy and about the federal government's commitment to reducing carbon emissions also are slowing the recovery.
New York has fared much better than most states. Only 8.1% of clean-energy workers remain unemployed. Jordan contended that's because businesses and investors have more confidence that those jobs will last.
"There's been a very clear communication of New York's continued commitment to its climate goals, and New York has worked very hard to keep the virus under control," Jordan remarked.
More than 40 states continue to have unemployment rates of 10% or more in the clean-energy sector, and in five states, the rate is more than 20%.
Action on the federal level also is critical. Jordan pointed out clean energy can be a major source of the jobs needed to rebuild the economy, and infrastructure is key.
"Expanding federal programs for things like weatherization, direct money into energy efficiency and buildings, favorable and financeable tax credits for renewables, and then grid modernization and modernization of ports, particularly around offshore wind areas," Jordan outlined.
He noted a federal clean-energy jobs program would provide good-paying jobs to the working class while helping meet the carbon-reduction goals needed to combat climate change.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …