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|
By Industry Job Losses, December 2020
|Grid & Storage||-6,517||-19,666||-1,166||+4,561||+428||+482||+510||+1,042||+336||+752||-19,238|
For a full breakdown of clean energy jobs losses in each state, download the full analysis here.
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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 www.usenergyjobs.org. 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 e2.org/reports. You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake (firstname.lastname@example.org).