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California’s Green Jobs Growth Beats Rest Of Economy

California’s green jobs sector drove the California economy by the most out of all job sectors between 1995 and 2008. During these years green businesses increased 45 percent in number. Green jobs grew by 36 percent while total jobs in the state expanded by on 13 percent.

green jobs in California – Workers installing solar panels What’s more, overall, California’s green economy is growing, diverse and well distributed across the state.

The findings come (via CleanTechnica) from a study, Diversity and Distribution of California’s Green Jobs (3.3 MB PDF download link), by Next 10, an “independent and nonpartisan organization that educates, engages and empowers Californians to improve the state’s future”.

The green jobs study found that:

  • The green jobs sector was the only jobs sector growing faster than 13% percent.
  • Green jobs grew at an average of 23 percent.
  • In bad economic times, between 2007 and 2008, green jobs grew by 5 percent, while total jobs dropped one percent.
  • Most of the green jobs were in these sectors: clean energy generation, energy efficiency, water technologies, environmental services.
  • The biggest job growth of all was in green transportation.
  • Even in rural areas with a smaller economic base, green jobs are growing faster than the overall economy.
  • The Sacremento Area led the way with job growth of 87 percent, followed by the San Diego Region with 57 percent, the Bay Area with 51 percent, and Orange County and Inland Empire with 50 perecent.

Does this mean that when the U.S. economy starts to pick up again, green jobs will be the driver of jobs growth? I’d have to put my money on most probably ‘yes’.

Could this be a lesson for the rest of the country, and indeed the rest of the world? It should be noted that if California was counted as a country, it would have the eighth largest economy in the world.

If you don’t live in California, how do you think your state or country is doing in the green jobs and green economy stakes at the moment?

Image CC licensed by lauren Keith.

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