Clean power jobs take a massive hit

12,500 jobs were added to the clean energy sector in September. That might seem like a decent quota for a minority industry, until one sees the comparatives.

That number means almost 14% of the sector’s pre-COVID-19 workforce is left unemployed, according to the latest analysis of federal unemployment filings prepared by BW Research for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), released October 8.

Overall, September’s job gains represented a 0.4% increase in nationwide clean energy jobs and leaves nearly more than 477,900 clean energy workers still out of work in a year the industry projected to add over 175,000 jobs.

Simply put, the clean energy sector is currently fuming just like everyone else.

While September does continue a slightly resurgent trend—as it marks the fourth straight month of job growth for the industry after three months of devastating job losses—it is still immensely troubling to industry insiders.

Just like aviation, dining, and manufacturing, renewable energy faces unexpected prospects for a job market that had recently shown promise.

Just one out of every five clean energy jobs lost between March and May has come back, according to the monthly report. The slow growth is consistent nationwide; no state saw more than a 0.7% increase in employment in September, with 23 states and the District of Columbia adding fewer than 100 jobs each.

In 2018 and 2019, clean energy created about 190,000 new jobs nationwide. Before the coronavirus pandemic, employers projected that more than 175,000 jobs would be added in 2020, according to the 2020 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER) employer survey.

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