The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the most complete picture to date of the country’s green workforce. Pennsylvania comes up on top, among five states with more than 100,000 green jobs. Green jobs make up 3.3 percent of Pennsylvania’s total employment. New Jersey and Delaware are each at 2 percent.
“We had policy on the table that created a favorable environment for the solar, wind industries in Pennsylvania,” says Leanne Krueger Braneky, executive director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia.
She says those policies attracted large companies, giving Pennsylvania one of the highest employment numbers in the green manufacturing column.
“With this report, there was a good number of solar, wind jobs, but I’m afraid — without a policy action — that won’t be true next year and the year after,” says Braneky, explaining the loss of incentives that helped to grow the sector could push some of those companies out of the state. Disagreement over the number of green jobs created in the U.S. has become a political football. The new statistics should be a baseline from which to measure future growth around the nation.