Reaffirming earlier work by the Center for American Progress, the Brookings Institution finds that green jobs are real jobs, green jobs are good jobs, and green jobs are growing jobs. According to a new report by the Brookings Institution and the Battelle Technology Partnership Practice, the U.S. “clean economy sector” is large — 2.7 million Americans — and made up of a base of traditional waste management, pollution remediation, mass transit, and other environmentally friendly jobs with emerging clean-tech sectors growing on top. That means that the green economy is already larger than the fossil fuel sector. As reported by Time’s Bryan Walsh, the report has a number of important findings:
– About 26 percent of clean economy jobs are in manufacturing, and the value of exports, on a per-job basis, is twice that of a typical American job.
– Median wages are 13 percent higher than the economy average.
– The South has the most clean economy jobs, while the West has the most jobs per capita.
– The clean energy sector in particular grew by 8.3 percent between 2003 and 2010, nearly twice as fast as the overall economy.
However, the green economy — necessary not only to restore American manufacturing but also to maintain healthy air, water, and a livable planet — is under attack. As much of the base of green jobs are in the public sector, austerity cutbacks to local, state, and federal government jobs hit the green economy especially hard. Furthermore, the Tea Party members of Congress are driving hard to slash or even eliminate funding, rules, and incentives for clean energy research and development, pollution control, mass transit, and advanced manufacturing.