In the report, BW Research analyzed wages and benefits of occupations in clean energy industries in comparison to all occupations nationwide, sectors heavily impacted by the pandemic crisis, and other energy-related occupations.
It’s no secret that clean energy jobs are crucial to the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of 2019, more than 3.3 million Americans worked in clean energy occupations including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean vehicles and fuels. But what is the quality of these jobs? That’s what this report sought to discover.
Building on extensive work around energy employment data, BW Research dove deeper into the pay and benefits of specific clean energy occupations. The report shares three overarching findings:
- Median hourly wages for clean energy jobs overall are about 25% higher than the national median wage.
- Clean energy jobs are more likely to come with health care and retirement benefits than jobs across the rest of the private sector.
- Unionization rates for clean energy jobs are slightly higher than the rest of the private sector, with a few exceptions.
While clean energy jobs have continually grown over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought its challenges. As noted in the Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report, from March 2020 through August 2020, clean energy sector employment levels declined by 14% compared to preCOVID-19 levels—a net loss of nearly 500,000 jobs. Of those, energy efficiency jobs were hit the hardest, with more than 345,000 workers in energy efficiency-related occupations filing for unemployment.
But, with challenge comes opportunity. If done right, E2 believes that through Federal policy and a stimulus package, the clean energy economy can provide opportunities for an equitable nationwide economic recovery.
In this report, you’ll find an industry overview and several detailed occupational profiles for professions that make up the clean energy industry. You’ll also find analysis that shows clear and consistent outperformance in the clean energy sector on key jobs quality metrics relative to the rest of the economy; however, the authors note that as policymakers look toward rebuilding our economy, more can and should be done to ensure high-quality clean energy jobs are available to the full diversity of our workforce in the U.S.
Download the full report here.