Jobs Census Shows Resilient, Inclusive Employment Growth as Gen Z Flocks to the U.S. Solar Industry
Wednesday, Jul 19 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following is a statement by Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) on the National Solar Jobs Census released today by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC):
“The National Solar Jobs Census shows that our booming solar sector continues to deliver good, family-supporting careers in every corner of the country.
“While the solar workforce saw modest growth in 2022, it could have been a lot stronger without trade uncertainty and supply chain disruptions that caused a dip in solar jobs in the utility-scale sector. Still, the solar industry remained resilient and kept more than quarter-million Americans on the payroll. As new federal energy incentives continue to drive historic investments in solar manufacturing and deployment, U.S. solar jobs are expected to rapidly grow in the coming years.
“America’s solar industry is also attracting a younger and more diverse workforce. Last year, 18–29-year-olds made up nearly one-third of the solar workforce, a much higher percentage than the overall workforce, indicating that Gen Z workers are capitalizing on the growing number of career opportunities in the solar and storage industry. In addition, more than half of all new solar jobs last year did not require a bachelor’s degree, creating new avenues for more Americans to build a fulfilling career.
“Between 2015 and 2022, the U.S. solar industry increased its female workforce by 62%, 141% for Hispanic and Latino workers, 33% for Asian workers, and 114% for African American workers. This is exciting progress and means that we’re taking meaningful steps forward in making the U.S. solar and storage industry a more inclusive place.
“But the reality is: If we want solar to reach 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030, we need policy stability and the solar workforce to grow to more than a million workers. We still have a long way to go to meet this goal and must continue to focus our attention on implementing intentional and inclusive workforce development strategies that can help us meet this moment.”
The Solar Energy Industries Association® (SEIA) is leading the transformation to a clean energy economy, creating the framework for solar to achieve 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies and other strategic partners to fight for policies that create jobs in every community and shape fair market rules that promote competition and the growth of reliable, low-cost solar power. Founded in 1974, SEIA is the national trade association for the solar and solar + storage industries, building a comprehensive vision for the Solar+ Decade through research, education and advocacy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org and follow @SEIA on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Jen Bristol, SEIA's Senior Director of Communications, [email protected] (202) 556-2886