Slow job growth in November leaves 446,000 clean energy workers unemployed in the USA
Post date: 09/12/2020 - 09:15
Clean energy companies in the US added the fewest number of jobs in November since unemployment peaked in May, as COVID-19 cases and shutdowns surge to their highest levels since the pandemic first hit. Fewer than 8,000 jobs were added by US clean energy businesses in November, leaving more than 446,000 (13 percent of the sector’s workforce) unemployed. These figures were announced by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) citing several sources.
According to the monthly report, seven out of 10 clean energy workers who lost their jobs since the beginning of the crisis remain out of work. »With November’s meager job growth, employment in clean energy - once the nation’s fastest-growing job sector - has grown by less than half a percent four of the last five months.«
At the rate of recovery seen since June, it would take about three years for the clean energy sector to reach pre-COVID employment levels, says the pan-renewable organization. »It would take an additional 14 months to reach the levels of clean energy employment projected for 2020 before the pandemic struck.«
The jobs outlook comes just as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is scheduled to decline to 22 percent, and the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is scheduled to phase out completely at the end of the year. »Without congressional action on these key tax policies in the next three weeks, clean energy businesses will face declining federal support on top of rising COVID cases and closures.«
According to Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of ACORE, »more than 70,000 renewable energy workers in America remain out of a job because of the COVID-19 pandemic.« He demands: »If policymakers are serious about getting Americans back to work in high-quality, good-paying jobs, they should enact commonsense emergency relief measures for the clean energy sector in must-pass legislation this year.« Delaying the scheduled phasedown of renewable credits and making them temporarily refundable »would enable renewable developers to immediately resume their hiring and help power our nation’s economic recovery.«
No clean energy sector grew by more than 0.3 percent in November. Energy efficiency had the highest total job growth, adding 5,400 jobs. It was followed by renewable energy (1,348) and clean vehicles (646). Forty states and the District of Columbia still suffer double-digit unemployment in clean energy, with five states experiencing unemployment of 20 percent or more, says ACORE.