Electric Power Generation: 2011 Jobs

September 4, 2012 by Emsi Burning Glass

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Remember green jobs? The BLS recently released the 2011 estimates of electric power generation jobs, which includes solar electric power generation and wind electric power generation. The data provides an intriguing look at the relative scale of employment.

IndustryEmploymentEstablishmentsHydroelectric power generation19,833816Fossil fuel electric power generation118,9701,948Nuclear electric power generation56,942130Solar electric power generation58372Wind electric power generation3,018202Geothermal electric power generation1,04933Biomass electric power generation1,26399Other electric power generation79881TOTAL198,8553,381SOURCE: BLS, QCEW

Most people (nearly 120,000) work in fossil fuels. After that, we see nearly 57,000 in nuclear power and 20,000 in hydroelectric. Very few, about 4,000 nationwide, work in wind and solar. Less than 600 actually work in solar power. For all the investment we have seen, there are still very few jobs. But remember, these are just the people who work in the actual industries, and not in sectors like manufacturing and construction, which are responsible for making and installing the infrastructure.

Here’s a chart to provide a sense of scale. (And to get an even stronger sense for how small wind and solar are, click here.)

Please contact Rob Sentz (rob@economicmodeling.com) if you have questions. Follow us @desktopecon.