The national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) released a fact sheet showing that the advanced energy industry employed 3.5 million U.S. workers in 2018 — an increase of 125,000 jobs over 2017.
Advanced energy employment grew 4% year-over-year, more than twice as fast as the overall U.S. employment growth rate of 1.5%. Employers expect to add 6% more advanced energy jobs in the coming year.
These are some of the findings derived from a new report from the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership.
Employment in advanced energy generation – which includes wind, solar, hydro, high-efficiency (combined cycle) natural gas, and nuclear power – totaled 695,000 jobs, down 1% from 2017. Wind jobs are up 4%, solar jobs are down 4%, advanced (combined cycle) natural gas jobs up 7%.
At 3.5 million jobs, advanced energy employs more U.S. workers than retail stores (3 million), twice as many as hotels and motels (1.7 million), and more than three times as many as the coal and oil industries combined (1 million), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (retail and hotel/motel) and USEER (coal and oil).
“Advanced energy is a significant growth industry,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of AEE. “From energy efficiency to electric vehicles, the technologies and services that constitute advanced energy are creating jobs and helping the U.S. economy expand. At AEE, we are working to promote state and federal policies that remove barriers and expand markets. As long as advanced energy products are allowed to compete on performance and price, we can keep this economic driver going.”
Additional findings on advanced energy employment:
- The greatest number of advanced energy jobs – 2.3 million – are found in energy efficiency, making buildings and appliances use less energy. Energy efficiency jobs grew 3% year-over-year.
- The fastest employment growth was in advanced vehicles, at 15%. Of the 253,000 total jobs, 120,900 are associated with plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, which grew 25%, and 110,300 with hybrid vehicles, which grew 10%.
- Employment in energy storage increased 14%, to 74,500.
- Jobs in advanced fuels – which include corn ethanol, biofuels, biomass, and nuclear fuel – increased 11% year-over-year, totaling 116,000.