Green Jobs Work 9/10/11

Lately the right wing press has been pushing a line that green jobs don’t work—that they cost more jobs than they create. As usual this is a lie which is buttressed by bad research and distortion of good research. The bad research was a discredited Spanish study. The good research was done by the Brookings Institute. That report was distorted by the New York Times, which said that in California the environmental sector has actually lost jobs. However the part of the report cited was referring only to the San Jose metro area for the state of California as a whole there has been a 4.2% annual increase. According to the report there are currently 2.7 million workers in the clean economy. That is more workers than in the fossil fuel industry. Further from the report: "The clean economy is manufacturing and export intensive. Roughly 26 percent of all clean economy jobs lie in manufacturing establishments, compared to just 9 percent in the broader economy. On a per job basis, establishments in the clean economy export roughly twice the value of a typical U.S. job ($20,000 versus $10,000). The electric vehicles (EV), green chemical products, and lighting segments are all especially manufacturing intensive while the biofuels, green chemicals, and EV industries are highly export intensive." "The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole. Median wages in the clean economy—meaning those in the middle of the distribution—are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages. Yet a disproportionate percentage of jobs in the clean economy are staffed by workers with relatively little formal education in moderately well-paying “green collar” occupations." The report is "Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment" and can be found on the Brookings website. It is well worth reading.