The revised memo based on the BLS updates to the data can be found here.

Clean Energy Unemployment Claims in COVID-19 Aftermath, December 2020

**This memo has been revised and is available here. The numbers presented in the original Jan. 13, 2021 memo are based on data issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Jan. 8, 2021. An update to that data was made by the BLS in the Feb. 5, 2021  Employment Situation report**

The U.S. clean energy sector added 16,900 jobs in December, leaving 429,250 clean energy workers out of work since February of this year – a 12 percent decline over pre-COVID-19 employment levels, according according to the latest analysis of federal unemployment filings prepared for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) by BW Research Partnership

While the nation’s overall jobs recovery has stalled over the last several months, the clean energy sector has been particularly slow. December’s job numbers represent the seventh straight month of job growth for the industry after three months of devastating job losses, yet just 30 percent of the industry’s total jobs lost have been recovered. At the current rate of recovery over the last six months,  it would take clean energy — once the nation’s fastest-growing job sector — well into 2023 to reach pre pandemic employment levels. It take an additional year to make-up for the projected 175,000 new jobs projected to be added to the industry in 2020 before the pandemic struck.

Impacts of the pandemic-fueled job crisis also continued to disproportionately impact women and Black and Hispanic workers in December. Women—particularly women of color—and Hispanic workers lost jobs overall last month despite total clean energy employment growing slightly, at a rate of 0.6%.

At the start of 2020, nearly 3.4 million Americans across all 50 states and the District of Columbia worked in clean energy occupations, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization, clean vehicles and fuels.

States With The Most Total Job Losses, December 2020

State Total Losses Percent of Clean Energy Workforce
California 71,615 13.00%
Georgia 26,155 30.30%
Florida 22,814 13.60%
Michigan 21,946 16.50%
Texas 18,622 7.60%
North Carolina 17,044 14.90%
Pennsylvania 16,735 17.20%
Washington 16,580 18.60%
Ohio 14,116 12.20%
Massachusetts 12,088 10.60%

By Industry Job Losses, December 2020

Sector March  April  May   June  July August Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total 
Energy Efficiency -103,298 -309,584 -18,880 +71,786 +6,836 +8,116 +8,354 +16,806 +5,400 +12,301 -302,164
Renewables -23,739 -71,705 -4,272 +17,287 +1,918 +2,571 +2,273 +3,965 +1,348 +2,779 -67,577
Clean Vehicles -11,399 -35,070 -2,059 +10,335 +896 +2,182 +965 +1,615 +646 +422 -31,468
Grid & Storage -6,517 -19,666 -1,166 +4,561 +428 +482 +510 +1,042 +336 +752 -19,238
Clean Fuels -2,186 -10,390 -657 +2,351 +296 +205 +378 +409 +150 +632 -8,811
TOTAL -147,139 -446,416 -27,035 +106,320 +10,373 +13,556 +12,479 +23,838 +7,880 +7,880 -429,258


For a full breakdown of clean energy jobs losses in each state, download the full analysis here

Looking for More Info?

The analysis expands on data from the 2020 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 2020 and is available at E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fifth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016 and subsequently abandoned under the Trump administration.

If you are looking for additional insight into this report or E2’s more than a dozen other annual clean energy employment reports, visit You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake (

Sign Up Email Updates

Connect with E2

Take Action - Sign Up for Email Updates

Events - Our Latest Events

San Francisco, CaliforniaE2 Partner Event – Pacific Offshore Wind Event

Boyed by E2 supporting AB 525, and with federal lease auctions expected by fall of 2022, California’s burgeoning offshore wind industry is at an exciting juncture.... (Read More)

ZoomA Conversation with Rep. Judy Chu and California Cleantech Leaders

President Biden entered office this year with an ambitious agenda including passage of meaningful climate legislation in Congress. As the year comes to a close and... (Read More)

ZoomDriving the Region Forward: Transportation Electrification in the Southeast

As national momentum builds towards a decarbonized transportation sector, the Southeast is experiencing substantial growth across the transportation electrification space, from electric vehicle manufacturing investment and... (Read More)

Donate Today