March 28, 2012 — The U.S. Labor Department released a new report this week that shows at least 3.1 million Americans are employed in green jobs, which accounts for about 2.4 percent of the nation’s total employment.
Nationwide, this is the first time the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has made an official count of environmentally friendly jobs, which is an emerging part of the economy and a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan. Obama has set a goal of creating 5 million green jobs, and his stimulus plan provided $80 billion to help boost this sector.
“These green jobs are very real and important to our rebuilding economy,” said Cai Steger, energy policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The 2010 count found 2.3 million green jobs in the private sector and 860,300 in the public sector. In the private sector, manufacturing had the greatest number of green jobs with about 461,800, about 4 percent of all manufacturing employment. Construction was second, with about 372,000 jobs.