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US solar industry sees 2.3 per cent employment gain in 2019

By Ramla Soni

The Solar Foundation says that jobs in the industry have grown by 167 per cent since the publication of the first census for 2010

The solar industry in the US employed 249,983 people in 2019, an increase of 2.3 per cent compared to 2018, according to The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census.

This represented a slight benefit for the industry, which saw job losses in both 2017 and 2018.

The Solar Foundation, a non-profit organisation, said that jobs in the industry had grown by 167 per cent since the publication of the first census for 2010.

When it comes to jobs by state, California is on top with 74,255 workers, although it did see a 3.4 per cent drop in solar jobs compared to 2018. Overall, solar jobs grew in 31 states last year.

The 249,983 figure refers to people who spent “the majority of their time on solar-related activities”. If people who spent “some portion of their time” on solar-related work are included, then the total number of workers grows to 344,532.

The American Wind Energy Association says it represents more than 114,000 jobs in the US.

According to a 2017 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, in 2015 10.3 million full and part-time jobs in the US were supported by the natural gas and oil industry.

The Solar Foundation said its census was based on a survey of “solar establishments” carried out between October and November 2019.

Its survey was sent to “2,766 establishments, of which 1,859 completed or substantially completed the survey”.

This gave a margin of error of 2.27 per cent for the jobs data.

FURTHER READING: Total and Marubeni to build 800MW Qatar solar plant

FURTHER READING: Things to consider when making a renewable energy investment

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