Green Jobs – An Important Piece of the State’s RecoveryPosted on June 29th, 2012 No comments
Did the recession take a toll on the emerging green economy in Minnesota? Developing sectors are generally hit the hardest by economic downturns because an unfavorable investment climate hurts new technologies and products more than established ones. In fact, the number of green job opportunities in Minnesota held steady between fall 2009 and spring 2011. Not only that, but they offered higher quality employment opportunities than the rest of the economy.
Key research findings include:
- Growth in hiring demand for green-related work was virtually identical to that in the overall economy, averaging 30 percent from fall 2009 to spring 2011.
- All “core” green sectors are well represented in Minnesota, including: energy and resource efficiency (31 percent of job vacancies), recycling and pollution prevention (22 percent), natural resources conservation (13 percent), environmental compliance (12 percent), renewable energy (11 percent), pollution control (8 percent), and water treatment and conservation (3 percent).
- More than half of surveyed green vacancies are “growth openings” that come from from business expansion rather than worker turnover. This demonstrates the emerging nature of the green economy.
- The labor market for green jobs is geographically diverse, with about half of the opportunities in the Twin Cities metro area and half outside of the metro area. Each region specializes in green products and services that best fit its distinctive assets, including natural resources, technological competencies of local manufacturers, and the local infrastructure of green services such as recycling and renewable energy generation/distribution.
- Green vacancies are generally higher quality than total vacancies, with predominantly full-time and permanent/non-seasonal opportunities offering higher wage. Green vacancies also require a higher education level than what’s typical of all vacancies across Minnesota.
- Skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are in higher demand than other skill areas for this group of jobs.
- Despite the dramatic employment losses in manufacturing and construction right before and during the study period, these were the industries that generated the most green job vacancies. This provides further evidence of the resilience of the sector and its growth potential as the economy continues to recover.
Green economic activities are important ingredients in the recipe for a sound recovery because they stimulate demand for high-quality jobs and help us to compete globally.
A version of the article appears in the June 2012 edition of Minnesota Economic Trends.VN:F [1.9.7_1111]Green Jobs – An Important Piece of the State’s Recovery,
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