Industry Added More Than 28,000 Jobs in 2018

  • More than 526,800 Midwesterners work in energy efficiency

  • Top 5 States: Mich., Ill., Ohio., Ind., Wisc.

  • Region’s clean energy jobs grew faster than national average

Chicago, IL – (April 9, 2019) – The Midwest’s advanced transportation sector added 12,000 jobs in 2018, and the region’s clean energy jobs now total more than 737,000. The 15 percent growth in clean vehicle technologies such a hybrid and electric cars helped the Midwest outpace national clean energy job growth in 2018, this according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national, nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).

Along with a 4 percent overall growth rate, every single one of the 12 states that make up the Midwest region added clean energy jobs in 2018, totaling more than 28,000 and helping to lift the region’s overall job growth rate to 2.4 percent. Across the economy, clean energy makes up nearly 2 percent of all jobs in the region, and nationally the Midwest is now home to 23 percent of America’s 3.3 million clean energy jobs.

Full report is available at

“With job growth across the renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, and advanced transportation sectors, this report shows that Midwestern economies are benefiting from the clean energy industry,” said Erik Birkerts, CEO of CET. “Further, this report indicates that the Midwest is creating jobs in the clean energy industry more quickly than the rest of the country – a sign the Midwest is a good place for clean energy businesses to grow.”

Energy efficiency once again led all clean energy sectors, employing more than half million workers (526,000) while renewable energy came in third behind advanced transportation (91,700) with more than 85,000 jobs – led by solar and wind (74,800).

Released today, the report highlights the Midwest’s growing importance in America’s transition to renewable energy –adding over 2,000 workers across renewable industries (2.7 percent growth) in a year when total U.S. renewable jobs fell nearly 8,000 nationally.

“Since we began tracking this data four years ago, the Midwest has seen significant growth—adding nearly 170,000 clean energy jobs since 2015,” said Micaela Preskill, E2 Midwest States Advocate. “This report clearly proves that clean energy in the Midwest is not just a trend, it is driving economic growth and opportunities across the region.”

Clean energy job growth in the Midwest is expected to continue, as regional employers predict a seven percent job growth for 2019.

According to Clean Jobs Midwest, clean energy employment across the 12-state region totaled 737,030 at the end of last year—led by Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio each with more than 100,000 jobs. The three Midwest leaders all ranked in the top 10 nationwide for clean energy jobs. Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota also placed in the top 20. Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota make up the other six states in the analysis.

Moving beyond statewide numbers, the most clean jobs in the Midwest came from Illinois’ Cook County (54,000), Michigan’s Oakland County (30,700) and Minnesota’s Hennepin County (24,400). Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis topped the region’s metro areas for clean energy employment, combining to add nearly 180,000 clean jobs, while nearly 116,000 jobs came from the Midwest’s rural areas.

More detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs for all 12 states – including job totals for every county, congressional district, and state legislative district— can be found at through an interactive map of the region.

Other key findings:

  • More than 25,000 Midwesterners now work in grid modernization (12,200) and energy storage (13,100).
  • Construction (41.5%) and manufacturing (30.6%) make up the majority of clean energy jobs categorized by value chain.
  • Clean fuels technologies employ nearly 8,000 workers in the 12-state region.
  • Combined, solar (38,900) and wind (35,900) account for 88 percent of renewable energy jobs in the Midwest.
  • Fossil fuels employ (187,700) barely a quarter the number of clean energy workers overall in the Midwest (737,030).
  • Electric power generation jobs using fossil fuels (62,600) employed 20,000 less workers than renewable energy generation (85,300).
  • Small businesses are driving the region’s clean energy sectors, with 4 percent of clean energy businesses employing fewer than 20 individuals.
  • 1 percent of Midwesterners employed in clean energy are veterans, compared to the national average of six percent.

The report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.3 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on data from the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership. The report was released in March week and is available at E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fourth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration. Clean energy jobs have grown every year since the first report was released in 2016.

To speak with business leaders in the Midwest who support strong investments in clean energy and their impact on America’s economy, please contact Michael Timberlake at (202) 289-2407.

More information about E2’s clean energy jobs research can be found at

Additional Resources:


Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) is a national, nonpartisan group of business leaders, investors, and professionals from every sector of the economy who advocate for smart policies that are good for the economy and good for the environment. Our members have founded or funded more than 2,500 companies, created more than 600,000 jobs, and manage more than $100 billion in venture and private equity capital. For more information, see or follow us on Twitter at @e2org.

Clean Energy Trust brings cleantech innovation to market by finding, funding, and growing high-impact cleantech startups from the Midwest. Structured as a nonprofit, Clean Energy Trust makes seed investments and provides patient, hands-on support to help entrepreneurs scale and succeed. To date, Clean Energy Trust has invested in 27 companies across the Midwest. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter at @cleanenergytrst.

The 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report was produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), using data collected and analyzed by the BW Research Partnership. The report is available at



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