The solar industry now employs 173,807 workers across the U.S. That’s according to figures released from The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census for 2014 last week.
Overall the census shows that the solar sector grew by 21.8 percent in 2014 over 2013, exceeding growth expectations. The census said it is the second consecutive year in which employment increased by 20 percent, or in this case, more.
“The solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth and job creation,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “The solar sector has grown an extraordinary 86 percent in the last four years, adding approximately 81,000 jobs. Our Census findings show that one out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry – nearly 1.3 percent of all jobs. It also shows for the fifth consecutive year, the solar industry is attracting highly-skilled, well-paid professionals. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening our nation’s economy.”
The Solar Foundation also found that the majority, 28 states, saw positive solar jobs growth over 2014. The top six solar states, however, accounted for more than 50 percent of the employment growth in the last year, with California leading the country. However, Nevada saw the most growth at 146 percent. The Solar Foundation found that 5,900 Nevadans were employed in the solar industry last year. That’s 3,500 more solar jobs than in 2013.
“Nevada’s solar jobs growth was the most impressive in the country in 2014,” Luecke said. “146% jobs growth is nearly double the next highest state and Nevada leapfrogged seven other states to claim the #1 slot in jobs per capita.”
The Solar Foundation broke additional information about solar Jobs in Nevada and as well as Arizona, California, Georgia, Maryland, New York and Texas. As mentioned, with 54, 690 people employed the solar industry in California, that state led overall solar jobs. Of those 60 percent were employed as solar installers. The Solar Foundation anticipates that 64,000 people will be employed by solar in California by the end of the year.
The report was produced by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership with support from The George Washington University. According to The Solar Foundation the report more than 7,600 U.S. businesses to measure employment in the industry across the U.S.Tweet