One out of every 50 new jobs in the United States in 2016 was created by the solar industry, according to The Solar Foundation’s National Job Census Report. It ranks jobs by state and shows which states benefit the most from solar job growth.
The report found that solar industry employment growth outpaced the overall U.S. economy by 17 times as it increased by more than 51,000 jobs, for a total of 260,077 U.S. solar workers. The solar workforce grew by 25 percent over 2015, the largest annual growth percentage since The Solar Foundation’s first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.
Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total solar industry employment increase by 10 percent to 286,335 solar workers.
The five states with the most solar jobs were California, Massachusetts, Texas, Nevada and Florida. In the Midwest, Kansas had a 66 percent job increase from 282 to 467 total solar jobs. Missouri gained a 28 percent increase from 1,854 to 2,380 total solar jobs. See all states on the The Solar Foundation National Job Census Report.
“With a near tripling of solar jobs since 2010, the solar industry is an American success story that has created hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs,” said Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation. “More than ever, it’s clear that solar energy is a low-cost, reliable, super-abundant American energy source that is driving economic growth, strengthening businesses, and making our cities smarter and more resilient.”
Solar job growth in 2016 took place in all job sectors, including a 26 percent growth in manufacturing companies to 38,121 jobs nationwide. Installation jobs increased by 14 percent to a total of 137,133 jobs. Project development jobs increased by 53 percent to 34,400 jobs, while sales and distribution jobs increased by 32 percent to 32,147 jobs.