The clean energy industry added fewer than 24,000 jobs in October, leaving more than 454,000 (13% of the sector’s workforce) unemployed as the nation enters the holiday season. For the fourth straight month, clean energy jobs grew by less than 1%, according to the latest analysis of federal unemployment filings prepared for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) by BW Research Partnership.
According to the monthly report, three out of every four clean energy workers who lost their jobs at the beginning of the crisis remain out of work. At the current rate of recovery, it would take more than 18 months for the sector to reach pre-COVID employment levels, and until 2023 to meet the sector’s projected 2020 job growth as calculated before the pandemic hit. The 2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER) employer survey had originally projected that more than 175,000 clean energy jobs would be added this year.
In 2018 and 2019, clean energy created about 190,000 new jobs nationwide. Before COVID-19, nearly 3.4 million Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia worked in clean energy occupations, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization, clean vehicles and fuels. That’s more people than work in real estate, banking or agriculture in the U.S., and three times the number of Americans that worked in fossil fuels, according to E2’s Clean Jobs America report.
Alarming employment trends across the economy continued in October. Long-term and permanent unemployment rates rose sharply, and now account for one-third of all unemployed workers. In addition, weekly unemployment claims continue to hit historic highs. With COVID-19 cases spiking around the country as the nation enters the winter months, when hiring tends to slow, more layoffs could be imminent without support from Congress.
ACORE | http://www.acore.org
E2 | http://www.e2.org
E4TheFuture | http://www.e4thefuture.org