US solar sector adds 23,700 jobs in 14 mo

(SeeNews) - Jan 28, 2014 - The US solar industry created 23,682 jobs in the 14 months through November 2013, marking a 19.9% jump in employment since September 2012, a study of non-profit solar research organisation The Solar Foundation (TSF) revealed on Monday.

Solar companies expect to create 22,000 more jobs in 2014.

As of November, solar companies had 142,698 solar workers on their payrolls, with the number rising 10 times faster than the national average job growth rate of 1.9% in the same period. The rapid increase is due to improved demand for solar systems as costs are falling. According to a survey of more than 2,000 solar firms, about 51.4% of the clients willing to go solar are motivated by the fact that they will save money, while 22.9% want to take advantage of falling costs, which are currently competitive with utility rates.

The solar sector in the US has expanded by 53% in the past four years, adding almost 50,000 employees, showed TSF’s fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census, created together with BW Research Partnership and the George Washington Solar Institute. For four years in a row, solar jobs remain well-paid and attract highly-skilled workers, noted TSF’s executive director and president Andrea Luecke.

"As the nation's fastest growing energy source, we expect the solar industry will continue to generate robust job growth for at least the next decade," said Amit Ronen, director of The George Washington University Solar Institute.

TSF will release job numbers state by state in a detailed study next month.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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