The latest U.S. Energy and Employment report shows Washington State leading the country in energy efficiency jobs. According to the report, these energy jobs in Washington make up 2.8 percent of the entire country’s energy efficiency workforce – the highest percentage of any single state.
When looking at nationwide trends, data from the report shows that in 2017 the energy industry employed 6.5 million Americans and saw a growth of 133,000 net new jobs. These new energy-related jobs make up almost 7 percent of all new jobs in the country. The report also estimates that jobs related to energy efficiency will grow by 9 percent in 2018 and predicts construction related to these projects will increase by 11 percent.
“We know that the energy sector, the third largest [industry] in the U.S., is continuing to grow. We know that there are ever increasing technologies that are related to renewables and energy efficiency that make our cars, our homes, our buildings and even us smarter, and help drive down costs for consumers and businesses,” said Senator Cantwell during a Senate committee meeting on the report. “Our nation is embarking on one of the greatest economic opportunities, and that is a clean, efficient, energy economy.”
In Washington state specifically, there are 150,000 energy jobs. Of those, 54,532 are related to traditional energy, 62,519 jobs are in the energy efficiency sector, and 32,238 are motor vehicle jobs. Traditional energy includes jobs related to electric power generation, fuels, and energy transmission, distribution, and storage.
For those employed in electric power generation, the largest segments of those workers are in solar (5,246 jobs) and wind jobs (3,228 jobs).
In the energy efficiency sector, the jobs are primarily related to ENERGY STAR and efficient lighting, traditional HVAC, renewable energy, and advanced materials.
Data from the report also shows that for all energy-related jobs in Washington, the majority of employers said they had difficulty hiring employees. This is especially true for energy efficiency jobs where nearly 75 percent of employers said it was either very difficult (27.3 percent) or somewhat difficult (47.3 percent) to hire their workforce.