DOE report examines employment trends in energy sector

Published on June 30, 2023 by Dave Kovaleski

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released a study this week that tracks employment trends across the energy sector.

Among the key findings, the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) revealed that the energy workforce added almost 300,000 jobs in 2022, which was 3.8 percent higher than the previous year.

Of that total, some 114,000 clean energy jobs were added, up 3.9 percent from the previous. They accounted for more than 40 percent of total new energy jobs last year. In addition, clean energy technologies, such as solar and wind, added over 21,000 jobs, up 3.6 percent, while jobs related to zero emissions vehicles added 38,000 jobs, up nearly 21 percent. Overall, clean energy technology jobs accounted for more than 84 percent of net new electric power generation jobs.

“Today’s report shows that the clean energy transition is accelerating, with job growth across every pocket of America, and that unionized employers are filling these new positions with much more ease than non-unionized employers,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said. “Thanks to President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda, we expect to see steady growth of jobs to make and build a resilient and clean energy system offering good-paying and secure employment opportunities to America’s workers across the country.”

Looking at the different segments of the industry, there were 28,000 more battery electric vehicle jobs — an increase of 27 percent. Also, there were 12,000 more solar jobs, up 3.7 percent; 5,000 new wind jobs, up 4.5 percent; and 1,000 more geothermal jobs, up 5 percent.

The top three states for clean energy jobs last year were California, which added 13,000 jobs; West Virginia, which added 7,000 jobs; and Texas, which added 5,100 jobs.

“This new data from the 2023 U.S. Energy and Employment Report shows strong growth in energy jobs, and as investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act really start to gear up, I expect we’ll see this growth accelerate over the next few years,” U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said.

Among other findings, the report found that women filled more than half of the net 300,000 energy jobs added in 2022. Overall, women make up about 26 percent of the energy workforce. Further, only 17 percent of the energy workforce is older than 55, compared to 24 percent in the national workforce. In fact, 30 percent of the energy workforce is under 30 years old, which is more than the national average of 22 percent.

“As Co-Chair of the Climate Jobs Task Force, I’ve made it a priority in Congress to help strengthen and expand the transition to clean energy,” U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) said. “I’m pleased to see this report demonstrate that clean energy jobs grew by 3.9 percent in 2022, outpacing overall U.S. employment. These numbers show that the ambitious investments we’re making in clean energy technologies are helping move our economy forward and creating good-paying union jobs in communities across the country.”