Nevada’s Post-COVID Challenges & Opportunities Ahead

Summary:

Driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis, Colorado experienced its first decline in clean energy jobs in 2020 since E2 began tracking the industry with this methodology in 2017. Colorado’s clean energy economy employed more than 58,000 workers at the end of 2020, down from 62,400 the year before, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data and the findings of a national survey of more than 35,000 businesses across the U.S. economy.

By May of last year, more than 7,500 clean energy workers in Colorado had lost their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading widely, according to monthly analysis of unemployment data by E2 and partners.2 Since the sector’s losses peaked at the end of May 2020, jobs grew back by 6 percent. In fact, by the end of 2020 more than about 40 percent of the clean energy jobs lost between March and May had been regained, leaving the sector down about 7 percent (about 4,200 jobs) since COVID-19.

Thanks to smart state climate policy leadership, Colorado’s clean energy economy has proven to be a core part of the state’s economy—representing more than 2 percent of overall state employment. It has been resilient and robust in the face of crushing economy-wide pressures.

A  Bigger Picture

This report focuses solely on the energy sector of the economy and does not include jobs in retail trade, repair services, water or waste management, and indirect employment or induced employment.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Findings

  • Small businesses are the backbone of Nevada’s clean energy economy. Nearly three out of every five (58%) clean energy workers were employed at companies with fewer than 20 employees;
  • 17% of construction jobs in Nevada were in clean energy occupations, from solar installers and site workers to electricians, HVAC technicians, lighting technicians, carpenters and others who work in energy efficiency;
  • Nevada ranked tenth in the country for clean energy unionization, with 9% of clean energy workers part of a union – behind only Washington, California, and Oregon in the West and well above the nation’s economywide average;
  • More than four in ten Nevada clean energy workers were of non-white or Hispanic ethnicity in 2019;
  • Clean energy accounts for 55% of all energy sector jobs in Nevada, and seven times more jobs than fossil fuels in the state;
  • Rural areas in Nevada are home to more than 1,300 of the state’s clean energy jobs.

Nevada Clean Energy Employment Q4 2019

Energy Efficiency 11,988 jobs
Renewable Energy 11,265
Solar Energy 10,101
Energy Storage 8,634
Clean Vehicles 1,299
Grid Modernization 465
Clean Fuels 138
Wind Energy 124
All Clean Energy Sectors 33,788 jobs

Looking for More Info?

This 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 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. E2 is a partner on the USEER, the fifth installment of the energy survey first released by the Department of Energy in 2016.

If you are looking for additional insight into E2’s Clean Jobs Nevada 2019 or our other Clean Jobs America reports, visit e2.org/reports. You can also contact E2 Communications Director Michael Timberlake (mtimberlake@e2.org). An FAQ is also available here to answer any questions.

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