A newly-released analysis by BW Research Partnership estimates that in March 2020 alone, clean energy job losses totaled 106,400 in the United States, representing a three percent drop in employment. It projects that the clean energy sector will lose more than a half million jobs, or 15 percent of its total workforce, in the months ahead if no additional actions are taken to support its industries through economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hawaii, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have experienced the greatest declines (about six percent) as a proportion of their clean energy workforce.
Racial minorities, younger workers, and low-income workers are experiencing disproportionate economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the clean energy sector, Hispanic and Latino workers are especially hard-hit at this time: they make up approximately 14 percent of the labor force, but represent about 24 percent of the lost jobs.
The analysis defines clean energy jobs as those in renewable electric power generation, clean fuels, clean transmission, distribution, and storage, energy efficiency, and alternative transportation.
BW Research is full-service applied research firm that is focused on economic and workforce research, customer and community research, as well as strategic planning and evaluation services. Along with the Energy Futures Initiative, BW Research is NASEO’s partner on the U.S. Energy and Employment Report.