More than 54,000 Missouri residents work in clean energy jobs, up 3.2 percent over last year, making it the fastest growing clean energy economy in the Midwest, according to a new analysis from the Clean Energy Trust.

The majority of those jobs are found in Jackson County, St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis. The report showed:

  • Missouri’s clean energy economy grew at 3.2 percent last year.
  • Every Missouri county has residents working in clean energy.
  • Clean energy employs seven times more Missouri residents than fossil fuel companies.
  • Seventy-two percent of clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing.

The Clean Energy Trust (CET),  a national, nonpartisan business group of environmental entrepreneurs, analyzed 12 states in the Midwest.

Overall, Missouri now employs over seven times more workers in clean energy than fossil fuels. Energy efficiency once again led all clean energy sectors in Missouri, employing more than 40,000 workers – accounting for seven in 10 of all clean energy workers. Clean vehicles came in second with more than 6,200 jobs – led by hybrids and electric vehicles. Missouri’s clean energy workforce employs more than six times as many people as all the computer programmers and web developers in the state, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.

“The beauty of data is that it cuts through political rhetoric. These findings show that clean energy jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency are growing across the region and that the Midwest continues to demonstrate it is a fertile region for clean energy innovation, enabling businesses to launch, grow, and create jobs,” said Erik G. Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. “Everyone should embrace and support these sectors that are driving economic development.”

The Clean Jobs Midwest report highlights Missouri’s growing importance in America’s transition to grid modernization and energy storage  –  adding 421 new jobs from 2016 to 2017 (24.9 percent job growth). The report tallies the job totals for every Missouri county, congressional district and state legislative district.

Contributing the cleanest energy jobs were St. Louis County (11,893), Jackson County (9,330), and St. Louis City (4,395). The St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas combined are home to 31,564 jobs, while more than 12,200 jobs came from Missouri’s rural areas. Every county in the state has residents working in the clean energy economy.

“The data in this report is evidence that what makes sense for our environment also makes sense for our economy,” said Bob Solger, founder and managing partner of Solar Design Studio in Platte City, MO. “Solar, like energy efficiency and other forms of clean energy, is reducing consumers’ energy costs while driving job growth and economic investment across our state.”

Other results show:

  • Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, employs 5,071 Missouri residents.
  • More than 2,100 Missouri residents now work in grid modernization and energy storage.
  • The majority (72 percent) of Missouri’s clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing.
  • Clean fuels and clean vehicle technologies employ 7,235 workers.
  • Employers project 2.2 percent clean energy job growth in 2018
  • Small businesses are driving Missouri’s clean energy sectors, with 71.8 percent of clean energy businesses employing fewer than 20 individuals.
  • 11.1% of Missouri residents employed in clean energy are veterans.

Across the entire 12-state region, Clean Jobs Midwest found that clean energy employment totaled 714,255 at the end of last year – led by Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio each with more than 100,000 jobs and four other states each accounting for more than 50,000 jobs.

The report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis, which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.2 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Photo: NAIT / CC