Clean Economy Jobs: A Key in America’s Emerging Next Economy

In December of 2009, we wrote about green jobs in recycling–jobs that have a positive environmental impact. And so we are glad that yesterday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson visited one of the Recology materials recycling facilities (MRFs) to promote President Obama’s jobs plan and sustainability .  If you’re wondering what clean economy or “green” jobs have to do with recycling, you should read a report called “Sizing the Clean Economy” written by The Brookings Institution. It found that:

In terms of its sectoral profile, the clean economy encompasses a wide variety of activities that extends far beyond high-profile renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors. In fact, the vast majority of clean economy jobs produce goods or services that protect the environment or reduce pollution in ways that have little to do with energy or energy efficiency. Nearly one-fifth of clean economy jobs, for example, involve agriculture and conservation, which includes a variety of land and forestry management jobs, as well as those in organic farming. Another 40 percent of clean economy jobs benefit the environment through greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, the management of resources like air and water, and recycling.  Businesses involved in renewable energy, by contrast, comprise just 5 percent of all clean economy jobs. Nuclear energy, considered clean but non-renewable, comprises 3 percent of jobs: roughly 75,000.

The Brookings-Battelle Clean Economy Database, which was a source for the report, also found that according to their data, 1.7 million people in 2010 held clean economy jobs.  San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ranked #6 out of a 100 metropolitan areas, with 51,811 people working across sectors to create environmental beneficial alernatives.  There’s an interactive map you can look at online that illustrates their findings.

The data on San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont shows that between 2003 and 2010, 15,784 new clean economy jobs were created–and over 6,000 of them were in the waste industry. In 2010, these jobs paid $59,856 per year on average. That’s not a bad deal in a country struggling to overcome an unemployment rate of 9.1%.


One Response to “Clean Economy Jobs: A Key in America’s Emerging Next Economy

  • Green James
    9 years ago

    Thanks for posting this. Really great information on greenhouse gardening.

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