- In 2022, both energy jobs and clean energy jobs grew in every state and in Washington, D.C., according to the Department of Energy’s annual U.S. Energy and Employment Jobs Report. In a Monday blog, the White House cited this and two other new reports as indicators of a “Bidenomics” success.
- Clean energy jobs grew by 3.9% last year, DOE found, and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages found that employment in power generation and supply has recovered after a several-year downward trend, reaching its highest levels in a decade in the first quarter of 2023.
- “Nationwide in 2022, clean energy jobs grew by 114,000 (3.9 percent) to 3.1 million jobs,” the White House said.
In addition to DOE’s report and the new quarterly census from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the White House pointed to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing that an announced 94 GW of new clean power generation projects represent an estimated $133 billion in investment since the beginning of the administration, as of August 2023.
“These announced investments in specific generation projects are a subset of a larger boom across American clean energy supply chains,” the White House said. “These investments have spurred strong job growth. Between January 2021 and March 2023, the economy added 21,000 jobs in power generation and supply, reaching its highest level in more than a decade following a prolonged decline in employment in the industry.”
Overall, energy employment in the U.S. grew by 3.8% last year, outpacing economy-wide employment growth of 3.1%, according to DOE.
”Some states saw particularly large gains, with West Virginia, Oklahoma, and New Mexico leading clean energy job growth,” the White House said. “Including traditional transmission and distribution, clean energy jobs in West Virginia increased 19.3%” — the most in the country in 2022 — “while clean energy jobs increased by 9.1% in both New Mexico and Oklahoma.”
The White House said that “clean energy jobs” in this case are defined as jobs “with work related to the U.S.’s net zero goal” including grid technologies and storage, nuclear energy, and electrical transmission and distribution, and that jobs qualify when more than 50% of the worker’s time is devoted to clean energy.
While DOE’s report only covered 2022, data from 2023 will be released in mid-2024, the White House blog said.
“The energy sector has recouped 71% of the number of jobs lost in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DOE said. “The fuels sector saw the largest percent increase from 2021 to 2022, with the fastest growth seen in onshore natural gas. The second largest percent increase was in electric power generation jobs.”
Transmission, distribution and storage jobs have increased 3.8% nationwide since 2020, while electric power generation jobs have grown 6.1% and fuel sector jobs have grown 11%, DOE said. Motor vehicles saw the most growth of any energy sector with 13%, and clean vehicles accounted for 59% of all net new jobs in that sector.
In West Virginia, transmission, distribution, and storage contributed a significant portion of the jobs added in 2022, providing 7,322 new roles, DOE said. West Virginia’s fuel sector also grew significantly in 2022, adding 5,933 new jobs, mostly in the coal industry.
West Virginia employers made growth predictions that were more conservative than other states’ employers in every sector except fuel, which they predicted would grow 2.3% over the next year, versus a national average prediction of 1.6% growth.
While Texas by far added the most energy jobs nationwide in 2022, its 50,200 new jobs only accounted for a 6.3% increase in the state, which employs 936,476 energy workers. About 37,470 of these new jobs were in fuel, reversing a trend that saw the state’s fuel sector lose jobs in 2020 and 2021.