National Solar Jobs Census 2011 Finds Solar Companies Hiring Faster Than Rest of Economy

Source:  The Solar Foundation
Press release, September 19, 2011

The Solar Foundation today announced that 100,237 Americans are now working in the U.S. solar industry, according to preliminary data from the “National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce.” Solar businesses added 6,735 new workers in all 50 states since August 2010, which represents a 6.8 percent growth rate. The National Solar Jobs Census 2011 measured solar employment during the period between August 2010 and August 2011.

The U.S. solar industry’s job growth outpaced the overall economy and fossil fuel electric generation when compared to overall economic data from Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. (EMSI). During the same 12-month period, jobs in the overall economy grew by a mere 0.7 percent, while fossil fuel electric generation lost 2 percent of its workforce.

“The U.S. solar industry is creating jobs at a far greater pace than the economy as a whole,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “The National Solar Jobs Census series provides a definitive measure of the U.S. solar workforce and its growth over time. It proves where smart solar energy policies are having the most impact both in terms of states and across the vast solar supply chain.”

“Solar is a job-creating phenomenon in an economy that is flat-lining, with near 7 percent year- on-year increase in the number of Americans working in the industry,” said Danny Kennedy, president of residential solar installer Sungevity and member of The Solar Foundation’s board of directors. “This is a sign of a thriving industry – due to the demand for lower cost, clean electricity that creates value in America.”

The full National Solar Jobs Census 2011 report will be made available at Solar Power International ‘11 in Dallas on October 17. The Census examines employment along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities and all other fields and includes growth rates and job numbers for 31 separate occupations. It also examines solar employment at the state level.

The National Solar Jobs Census 2011 was conducted by The Solar Foundation and Green LMI (a division of BW Research Partnership) with technical assistance from Cornell University.

“By using high-quality research methodology, we can ensure that these numbers are as accurate as possible,” said John Bunge, Associate Professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. “Using both primary and secondary data sources, along with careful statistical analysis, gives us high confidence in the results.”

Background Materials:
Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.: National Solar Jobs Census 2010:

About The Solar Foundation:
The Solar Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit that, through research and education, promotes the use of solar energy to meet the world’s energy needs. Read more at

Media Contacts:
Mark Sokolove, Tigercomm, 424.208.3558, Brian Mahar, Tigercomm, 202.437.6595,


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