Energy Jobs Increasing at a Fast Pace

Shadows of engineers in the sunlight

In late June, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released its “2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report” (USEER), a comprehensive study designed to track and understand employment trends across the energy sector and within key energy technologies.

The 2022 USEER is based on surveys of approximately 33,000 private energy businesses, combined with public labor data, to produce estimates of employment and workforce characteristics.

The report noted that, despite economic uncertainty, the energy sector experienced positive job growth, increasing 4.0 percent from 2020 to 2021, outpacing overall U.S. employment, which climbed 2.8 percent in the same period. Overall, the total number of energy jobs increased, from 7.5 million in 2020 to more than 7.8 million in 2021, following a steep decline in 2020.

The USEER, originally launched in 2016, covers five major energy industries: Electric Power Generation; Motor Vehicles; Energy Efficiency; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; and Fuels. The report noted that all industries, except for fuels, experienced net-positive job growth in 2021.

In terms of the sectors with the most notable job growth:

  • Energy efficiency jobs increased 2.7 percent, adding 57,741 new jobs.
  • Hybrid electric vehicle jobs increased 19.7 percent, adding 23,577 new jobs.
  • Transmission, distribution, and storage jobs increased 1.9 percent, adding 22,779 new jobs.
  • Electric vehicle jobs increased 26.2 percent, adding 21,961 new jobs.
  • Solar energy jobs increased 5.4 percent, adding 17,212 new jobs.
  • Wind energy jobs increased 2.9 percent adding 3,347 new jobs.

The three states with the highest energy job growth numbers overall were Michigan, Texas, and California, with Michigan gaining 35,463 net jobs, Texas gaining 30,903, and California gaining 29,429.

West Virginia and Pennsylvania added the most jobs in Transmission, Distribution, and Storage, gaining 7,321 and 5,726 new jobs, respectively.

The report also noted that the energy workforce has a higher concentration of veterans than the U.S. workforce average (9 percent vs. 6 percent).

“The USEER demonstrates that achieving an equitable transition to a net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, with a diverse workforce, will require additional public and private investments in the clean energy sector,” added the report. “It will also require commitment from industry to support workers, by creating stable and secure good-paying jobs and investing in education and training programs to help workers, of all backgrounds, advance their clean energy careers.”



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