2016 Solar Jobs Census shines light on growth of solar-related work

Survey says industry employment nearly tripled since 2010

Posted February 8, 2017

According to National Solar Jobs Census released by the Solar Foundation, solar employment increased by over 51,000 workers in 2016 — a 25 percent increase over 2015. The seventh annual survey reports a total of 260,077 jobs related to solar-employment in 2016. According to the Solar Foundation, solar industry employment has nearly tripled since 2010.

The census defines “solar workers” as those who spend at least half of their time on solar-related work. The Solar Foundation claims that approximately 90 percent of these workers spend all of their time on solar-related work.

The 2016 Census was conducted through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy and Employment Report data collection effort between October and November 2016.

Key findings

Key findings from the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census include:

  • One out of every 50 new jobs in the U.S. was a solar-related job (nearly two percent of all new jobs);
  • Solar-related jobs in the U.S. have increased by at least 20 percent every year for the past four years;
  • Employers surveyed predict a ten-percent increase in solar-related jobs in the next year;
  • The five states with the most solar jobs in 2016 were:
    • California,
    • Massachusetts,
    • Texas,
    • Nevada, and
    • Florida.

Founded in 1977, the Solar Foundation describes itself as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing solar energy use worldwide.

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