WASHINGTON, March 31, 2016 - Some 1.9 million Americans are employed in energy efficiency-related jobs, and 260,000 new jobs are projected in 2016, according to the Energy Department’s (DOE’s) U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER). The report is DOE’s first annual analysis of how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in multiple energy sectors. By providing a broad view of the current national energy employment landscape, using a combination of existing data and a new survey of energy sector employers, the USEER provides public and policy makers with a clearer picture of how changes in energy technology, systems and usage are affecting the economy and creating or displacing jobs, says DOE.

The report examines four sectors of the economy: electric power generation and fuels; transmission, wholesale distribution, and storage; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles, which cumulatively account for almost all of the U.S. energy production and distribution system and roughly 70 percent of U.S. energy consumption.

Some key findings include:

  • 3.64 million Americans work in traditional energy industries, including production, transmission, distribution and storage. Of those, 600,000 contribute to the production of low-carbon electricity, including renewable energy, nuclear energy and low emission natural gas.
  •  1.9 million Americans are employed, in whole or in part, in energy efficiency-related jobs.
  •   Roughly 30 percent of the 6.8 million employees in the U.S. construction industry work on energy or building energy efficiency projects.

The report projected that several energy industries would experience increases in job creation. Responding to the USEER survey of employers, the energy efficiency sector predicted hiring rates of 14 percent in 2016, or almost 260,000 new hires. Projected hiring rates were at 5 percent within the electric power generation and fuels sector, reflecting overall growth despite a loss of employment in 2015 in the oil and natural gas extraction sectors. Transmission, wholesale distribution and storage firms anticipate 4 percent employment growth in 2016. Solar energy firms predicted 15 percent job growth over the next year.

However, says DOE, over 70 percent of all employers surveyed found it “difficult or very difficult” to hire new employees with needed skills.

“The transformation of our energy system and the growth of energy efficiency technologies are creating opportunities for thousands of new jobs, especially in energy efficiency and solar,” says David Foster, senior adviser on energy and industrial policy at DOE. “This report gives an important snapshot of energy employment in America, and subsequent reports will provide better information to guide policies and priorities that create new jobs, appropriately train workers and promote a successful national energy policy.”


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