U.S. Solar Sector Adds 31,000 Jobs in 2014 on Back of Strong Sector Growth

The United States added 31,000 jobs in the solar sector in 2015, as the industry in the country reaped the benefits from more project coming onstream, according to The Solar Foundation , an independent non-profit solar research and education organisation.

Figures from the organisation showed that the U.S. solar industry employed 173,807 individuals in 2014, representing 21.8%  growth in solar industry employment since November 2013.  Solar employment grew nearly 20 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.1 percent in the same period.

“The solar industry has once again proven to be a powerful engine of economic growth and job creation,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “The solar sector has grown an extraordinary 86 percent in the last four years, adding approximately 81,000 jobs.

“Our findings show that one out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry – nearly 1.3% of all jobs. It also shows for the fifth consecutive year, the solar industry is attracting highly-skilled, well-paid professionals. That growth is putting people back to work and strengthening our nation’s economy.”

The solar installation sector in the country is larger than well-established sectors of fossil fuel generation, such as coal mining which accounted for 93,185 jobs. The solar installation sector added nearly 50% more jobs in 2014 than the total created by both the oil and gas pipeline construction and the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industries.

The report, derived from data collected from more than 7,600 U.S. businesses, measured employment growth in the solar industry between November 2013 and November 2014. The margin of error of this data set is +/-2.03%, significantly lower than any similar national industry study.

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