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Numbers Don’t Lie: National Solar Employment Growing

It has become increasingly difficult to lump the entire solar industry into the “Solyndra” category since last September.  On Friday, The Solar Foundation’s 2012 Census Press Release announced that the solar industry has added 13, 872 jobs in the last 12 months, amounting to a 13.2% employment growth rate from the preceding year.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy as a whole saw employment growth of 2.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   The Solar Foundation’s findings show that 1 in 230 American jobs created between September 2011 and September 2012 were in the solar industry. Partially due to state and federal efforts to incentivize solar adoption and the decreasing price of PV, solar has emerged as one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, with 119,016 Americans working in the solar industry as of September 2012. “The solar industry has grown at significantly higher rates than most other industries in the past several years, making it one of the foremost creators of new jobs in the United States,” says The Solar Foundation’s Executive Director Andrea Luecke, “Our census findings indicate that these new jobs are highly skilled in nature, including solar installation, sales, marketing and software development. These new solar industry jobs are sustainable, cannot be outsourced and play a critical role in our country’s economic recovery.” Luecke hit the nail on the head.  She uses the term sustainable to describe the jobs within our industry.  The very nature of the work requires discipline, fine-tuned skillsets, accessibility to customers, and the overarching goal of sustainability.  The long-term success of the solar industry in the U.S. rests upon this solid foundation.  The Solar Foundation’s full report is to be released on November 14, 2012 at the Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference in Albany, New York.  The Solar Foundation can then shed some light on the full implications of the data they have collected this past year.  The report will include an analysis of the factors that brought about this industry growth, the jobs created within specific subsectors, and employment growth projections for 2013.  The Solar Foundation 2012 Census Press Release:  ...

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