WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2017 - Changes in America’s energy profile are affecting U.S. employment in key sectors of the economy, according to the Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER).

Traditional Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors now employ roughly 6.4 million Americans, the report finds.

These sectors increased in 2016 by just under 5 percent, adding over 300,000 net new jobs, about 14 percent of all jobs created last year in the U.S.

The report examines five sectors of the economy: electric power generation and fuels; transmission, wholesale distribution and storage; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles.

These sectors cumulatively account for almost all of the nation’s energy production and distribution system, and some 70 percent of U.S. energy consumption, DOE says.

David Foster, DOE’s senior advisor on industrial and economic policy, says the report is a verification of the “dynamic role” that the department’s energy technologies and infrastructure play in the nation’s economy.

Several energy industries also project increases in new jobs, according to the report.

According to the analysis, the energy efficiency sector predicts a growth in hiring rates of 9 percent in 2017, or some 198,000 new hires. The electric power generation sector projects a 7 percent increase. Transmission, wholesale distribution and storage firms anticipate 6 percent employment growth.

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“Whether producing natural gas or solar power at increasingly lower prices or reducing our consumption of energy through smart grids and fuel efficient vehicles, energy innovation is proving itself as the important driver of economic growth in America, producing 14 percent of the new jobs in 2016,” Foster says.

Other key findings:


  • Energy efficiency jobs increased by 133,000 positions for a total of 2.2 million jobs.
  • Investments in energy transmission, distribution and storage (U.S. energy infrastructure) generated 65,000 new jobs.
  • Solar industry employment increased by over 73,000 jobs, or some 25 percent.
  • Wind industry employment added 25,000 new jobs, with the industry now accounting for 102,000 U.S. jobs.


DOE notes that, even as the report finds that there is opportunity for job growth in many energy sectors, some 73 percent of all employers surveyed found it “difficult or very difficult” to hire new employees with needed skills.
To read the full report, click here.


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