Earlier this month, the Department of Commerce published a report that goes into detail on the green economy. According to “Measuring the Green Economy,” the green share of the economy was 2% in the broadest sense as of 2007, and perhaps somewhere closer to 1%.
The percentage, as the authors point out, has likely gone up slightly with the recent focus by the Obama Administration to infuse funds into greening the economy.
Our results suggest that green products and services comprised 1% to 2% of the total private business economy in 2007. The lower estimate was developed using a narrow definition that included products that we found generated little debate regarding their “greenness.” The larger estimate was based on a broad definition that included products that some might argue were not green. Under the broad definition, the share of green products and services was substantially larger, but still constituted only a relatively small part of the economy.
The number of green jobs was also found to be modest, ranging from about 1.8 million jobs under the narrow definition to 2.4 million jobs under the broad definition. These jobs constituted between 1.5% and 2.0% of total private sector employment in 2007. Green products accounted for about the same share of employment in the manufacturing sector as in the services sector.
The report does a nice job showing green activity across industry sectors, and even includes an appendix of industry codes that fit either a narrow or broad definition of green. Those industries are then categorized into five green activities: resource conservation, environmental assessment, energy conservation, renewable/alternative energy, and pollution control.
A PDF of the report can be found here.