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Clean energy jobs bounce back from pandemic dip, poised to soar with new federal investments

Posted by Cayli Baker on Sep 6, 2022

The advanced energy industry employed 3.4 million workers at the end of 2021, and workforce growth outpaced overall U.S. job growth

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2022 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy released its annual U.S. advanced energy employment fact sheet highlighting job trends across the industry. Outpacing overall U.S. job growth, the advanced energy workforce took a strong upturn in 2021, employing 3.4 million workers at the end of 2021 and bouncing back from COVID-19 disruptions. 

“Clean energy has become a pillar of the American economy, and these impressive workforce numbers affirm that advanced energy is a resilient growth industry,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “Thanks to historic actions by Congress, that growth is poised to explode, and our industry will be creating millions of new family-supporting jobs as it produces and installs technologies that will protect American households from fossil fuel-driven inflation." 

U.S. advanced energy employment grew 4.8% last year and now provides 2 million more jobs than the nation’s Coal, Oil, and Natural Gas industries combined, according to a review of the data compiled by BW Research Associates for the Department of Energy’s U.S. Energy and Employment Report. There was also year-to-year growth in every one of the five industry segments AEE tracks: Energy Efficiency, Advanced Electricity Generation, Advanced Vehicles, Advanced Grid & Energy Storage, and Advanced Fuels, with Advanced Vehicles setting a new employment record thanks to 28% growth in Electric Vehicle (EV) jobs. 

AEE also produced employment fact sheets for 12 states this year: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. Advanced energy as a whole saw the strongest job growth in New Mexico (8.2%), Indiana (6.9%), and Texas (6.8%). EV employment grew dramatically – by at least 25% – in all 12 states. Solar saw strong job growth in Texas (14%), Virginia and Pennsylvania (both 12%), Florida and Illinois (both 10%). Energy Storage logged double-digit growth in Virginia (12%) and Florida (13%). 

A separate analysis published last month by AEE found that the combined investment from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA, 2022) and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, 2021) totals $444 billion in direct federal spending toward advanced energy technologies, and will lead to nearly $3 trillion in total economic benefit for the U.S. economy, along with millions of permanent and temporary jobs (23 million job-years).  

Download AEE’s national jobs fact sheet and read our deep dive into 2021 employment trends

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Topics: Federal Policy, Press Releases, Nat Kreamer