Last year alone, the industry added 51,000 jobs, bringing the total number of Americans working in solar to more than 260,000.
We’ve known that the U.S. solar industry has been one of America’s premier job-creating machines.Last year alone, the industry added 51,000 jobs, bringing the total number of Americans working in solar to more than 260,000. Now the U.S. government has released new data that puts the industry’s rapid growth into perspective and says the solar installer will be the fastest-growing job in America over the next decade.
If you didn’t already think solar jobs are booming (they are), these new numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) really pop out. As the U.S. economy adds a projected 11.5 million jobs over the next decade, solar installer jobs will grow by 105 percent — more than any other occupation. Note that The Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census places any employee of an installer company in the “installer” category while the BLS considers just those physically getting on roofs to install panels.
Wind turbine technician jobs followed at No. 2, showing that clean energy jobs are driving the U.S. economy forward.
The solar industry is already adding jobs 17 times faster than the rest of the nation’s economy, and as the U.S. Solar Market Insight report has said, the industry is expected to triple in size by 2022. But this won’t happen if the government blocks the solar job wave by messing with the market through the pending Section 201 trade case. The case threatens to raise the cost of solar and cause tens of thousands of Americans in solar to lose their jobs.
Our fight against this trade case over the last six months has been fueled by the need to protect the hundreds of thousands of existing solar jobs, while allowing the fastest-growing job in America to continue to grow.
The new data from BLS shows that solar is truly an American success story and will continue if the government leaves the market alone. To undermine solar’s success to protect two foreign-owned companies would be a deeply harmful self-inflicted wound to the American economy and hurt American families from coast to coast.
As solar continues to drive job and economic growth in the U.S., we must ensure that no barriers are erected that will stall or upend that. Solar is not only powering American homes and business, but also American livelihoods. This can continue, and we hope that President Trump and his administration allow it to by denying foreign-owned petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld a bailout in the trade case.