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March 20, 2013

America: Green Jobs Champion

WindJobs that benefit the environment and conserve natural resources are growing faster than any other industry in the U.S. --– four times as fast.

According to a new study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of green jobs in America has grown four times faster than every other job sector combined, up nearly 5 percent in 2011 from the previous year.

Green jobs include any career that benefits the environment, regardless of industry: clean energy manufacturing, recycling, conservation, pollution reduction, and others. Currently, more than 3.4 million Americans are working in green jobs in sectors ranging from manufacturing to education to transportation and trade. The construction industry experienced the most growth in green goods and services, with a total of 101,932 new green construction jobs added between 2010 and 2011. Second to the construction sector, the professional, scientific and technical services sector added 26,595 jobs in in 2011.

This trend is a very important signal on America's path toward a fully functioning clean energy economy. We already knew that clean energy investments created three times as many American jobs as investments in dirty fuels. Now, we know these jobs get created even faster.

We are also seeing the fulfillment of what a majority of Americans have spoken in favor of: more research into and support for renewable energy. With $48 billion of public and private sector investments in green jobs and clean energy, the United States beat both China and Germany, two world leaders in the industry.

It's important that we continue this trend toward more green jobs and investment for a thriving clean energy industry. It's clear we don't have to choose between good jobs and a healthy planet. We shouldn't let anything keep us from achieving an economic recovery that will not only benefit American families but also the future our children will inherit.

--Kristen Elmore, Sierra Club Media Team Intern


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