Remember green jobs? The BLS recently released the 2011 estimates of electric power generation jobs, which includes solar electric power generation and wind electric power generation. The data provides an intriguing look at the relative scale of employment.
|SOURCE: BLS, QCEW|
|Hydroelectric power generation||19,833||816|
|Fossil fuel electric power generation||118,970||1,948|
|Nuclear electric power generation||56,942||130|
|Solar electric power generation||583||72|
|Wind electric power generation||3,018||202|
|Geothermal electric power generation||1,049||33|
|Biomass electric power generation||1,263||99|
|Other electric power generation||798||81|
Most people (nearly 120,000) work in fossil fuels. After that, we see nearly 57,000 in nuclear power and 20,000 in hydroelectric. Very few, about 4,000 nationwide, work in wind and solar. Less than 600 actually work in solar power. For all the investment we have seen, there are still very few jobs. But remember, these are just the people who work in the actual industries, and not in sectors like manufacturing and construction, which are responsible for making and installing the infrastructure.
Here’s a chart to provide a sense of scale. (And to get an even stronger sense for how small wind and solar are, click here.)