Solar Jobs Decreased In 2018

Although U.S. solar jobs dropped by 7,900 in 2018, a 3.2% decline, the Solar Foundation's annual report predicts a positive outlook for this year. Green Building Advisor’s Scott Gibson says it was the second year of declines after the industry reached its peak in 2016. But, prospects for 2019 look good, with over 240,000 workers in solar and gains in various states across the country. See some of Gibson’s highlights below.
  • Although there were job losses overall, 29 states showed gains, especially in emerging markets. Florida, for example, added 1,769 jobs, while Illinois gained 1,308. TexasNew YorkOhio, and Washington also were on the plus side.
  • California — with about 40% of the country’s solar capacity — was the big loser with a loss of 9,576 jobs. MassachusettsNorth CarolinaArizona, and Marylandalso posted job losses.
  • In the five-year period between 2013 and 2018, solar employment increased by 70%, adding 100,000 jobs. By comparison, total U.S. employment grew by about 9% during that same span.
  • Most solar jobs — 155,000 in all — are involved in installation and project development. Of those, about 87,000 are concentrated in the residential sector and about 46,000 are in non-residential, including 12,500 in community solar.

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