January 12 (SeeNews) - The US solar sector added slightly more than 35,000 jobs in 2015 taking the total solar workforce to almost 209,000, according to The Solar Foundation's (TSF) sixth annual census, released today.
This means that solar industry employment grew by 20.2% in the 12 months preceding November 2015, the third consecutive year bringing more than 20% growth. Since 2010, the US solar workforce has expanded by a whopping 123%.
Solar employers surveyed for the National Solar Jobs Census expect to add more than 30,000 jobs over the next 12 months which would see the sector's headcount increase by 14.7% to 239,625 by the end of 2016.
TSF noted that in the past year solar employment grew almost 12 times faster than the national employment growth rate of 1.7%. "Our Census findings show that one out of every 83 new jobs created in the US over the last 12 months was in the solar industry – 1.2% of all new jobs," said Andrea Luecke, TSF president and executive director.
The organisation also cited figures showing that the US solar industry now employs more people than some established fossil fuel sectors. The oil and gas extraction industry, for instance, now has 187,200 workers after shedding 13,800 jobs in 2015.