Experiencing its biggest growth year yet, the solar industry in the United States now employs more than 260,000 Americans, according to The Solar Foundation’s seventh annual National Solar Jobs Census released.
“Last year, one out of every 50 new jobs created here in America was a solar job,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “That’s an incredible finding that proves that solar energy is increasingly becoming a linchpin in America’s economy. When communities across America open their doors to solar, the jobs come racing in.”
With 51,000 jobs added to the U.S. workforce by the solar industry in 2016, this marks the fourth consecutive year of more than 20 percent growth year-over-year for solar, which greatly outpaces job growth nationwide. Across America, the number of solar jobs have nearly tripled since 2010.
The new census also showed sizeable gains in diversity by both race and gender, which has been an area of emphasis for SEIA. For example, women now make up 28 percent of the solar workforce, up from 24 percent. Additionally, 9 percent of the solar workforce are now veterans of the U.S. Armed Services, which exceeds the national employment average.
To read The Solar Foundation’s full report, which includes state breakdowns, go to www.solarjobscensus.org.