The 2018 U.S. Energy & Employment Report (USEER) was released in May, reporting that the traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors employ approximately 6.5 million Americans, with a job growth rate of approximately 133,000 net new jobs in 2017 – approximately 7% of total U.S. new job growth. The report provides detailed employment data for energy sectors including Electric Power Generation and Fuels Production (including biofuels, solar, wind, hydro and nuclear) and Electricity Transmission, Distribution and Storage. It also includes two energy end-use sectors: Energy Efficiency and Motor Vehicle production (including alternative fuel vehicles and parts production). It is important to note that, unlike many other sources, this survey includes only direct jobs, and not indirect and induced jobs.
In addition to overall employment totals, the report provides an in-depth view of the hiring difficulty, in-demand occupations, and demographic composition of the workforce – including breakdowns by gender, age, race and by union composition. As an example for solar electric power generation: “about a third of the solar workforce in 2017 was female, roughly two in ten workers are Hispanic or Latino, and under one in ten are Asian or are Black or African American. In 2017, solar projects involving PV technologies had a higher concentration of workers aged 55 and over, compared to CSP technologies.”
The previous USEER reports for 2016 and 2017 were compiled and published by the U.S. Department of Energy. In 2018, under the Trump Administration, two non-profit organizations, the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative, took over the task of compiling the data, using the identical survey instrument developed by the DOE. Timing was coordinated so that year over year comparisons with the precious surveys are possible. Peer review of the report was performed by Robert Pollin, (Political Economy Research Institute) and James Barrett, (Visiting Fellow, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy). The overview website, with free data tables at the state level, is here .