Fast-Growing U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs Over 119,000 Led By California, Arizona And New Jersey

At a national level, the solar industry data added nearly 14,000 new jobs in 2012, a 13% growth rate over 2011 — 5 times the job growth rate of the overall economy.

1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry

The Solar Foundation, an independent nonprofit solar research and education group, has put out its State Solar Jobs Map (

Last year, “the top ten states for solar jobs were: California, Arizona, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New York, Texas, Michigan, and Ohio.” It is no coincidence that “the top three states for jobs are also the leaders in 2012 installed capacity.”

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association explains:

Today, solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, providing good-paying jobs for more than 119,000 American workers. Over the past five years, the U.S. solar energy industry has experienced sustained growth thanks to rising demand, falling costs and new financing options. Since 2008, the amount of solar powering our homes, businesses and military bases has increased six-fold–from 1,100 megawatts to more than 7,700 megawatts today, which is enough to power more than 1.2 million American homes.

Some of this growth is attributed to the fact that the cost of a solar system has dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past two years, making solar more affordable than ever for consumers. If we want to want to create new jobs, foster innovation and ensure prosperity for future generations of Americans, we must expand our commitment to using clean, renewable energy sources in the U.S. and around the world.

Hear! Hear!


5 Responses to Fast-Growing U.S. Solar Industry Now Employs Over 119,000 Led By California, Arizona And New Jersey

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    Yeah, but utility scale solar has stalled. The “why” is very interesting. More later.

  2. Dano says:

    Utility-scale is one piece of the puzzle, but rooftop collection is as important (or more, depending on who you ask). And rooftop is where the jobs are (for now).



  3. accidentalfission says:

    Saw Van Jones in a documentary recently about people working on low-carbon energy solutions.

    He is brilliant, articulate, and is helping employ a lot of kids in the residential solar PV industry.

    For anyone who doesn’t remember, He was Obama’s Green Jobs Czar until Fox/WSJ/plain-old-bad-journalism-media (I’m lookin’ at you ABC and CNN) drove him out.

    I think it had something to do with his association with hip hop or something.

  4. paul magnus says:

    So how does that compare with fossil fuel industries?

  5. SecularAnimist says:

    Utility scale solar has NOT “stalled”.

    Utility scale solar in the USA is just getting started, and there are multiple utility-scale solar power plants under construction right now, and even more approved for construction.