Nearly half a million US clean energy workers unemployed as COVID continues

The 446,000 workers make up around 13% of the total clean energy workforce, according to a new analysis of federal unemployment filings

The Big Zero report

Nearly half a million clean energy workers across the US are unemployed as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The 446,000 workers make up around 13% of the total clean energy workforce, according to a new analysis of federal unemployment filings prepared for Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), E4TheFuture and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) by BW Research Partnership.

The organisations’ new report highlights that November saw renewable energy firms add less than 8,000 jobs, the fewest number of positions added to the market in a single month since unemployment peaked in May.

It states around 70% of clean energy workers who lost their jobs since the beginning of the crisis remain out of work.

The study forecasts that as the rate of recovery seen since June, it would take approximately three years for the renewable energy sector to reach pre-COVID employment levels and an additional 14 months to reach employment levels originally projected for 2020.

Sandra Purohit, E2 Federal Advocacy Director said: “If Congress fails to include targeted clean energy stimulus before the end of the year, the sector will face a terrible trifecta: rising COVID closures, declining job growth, compounded by the automatic weakening of federal support. Now is the time to bolster the job-creating power of clean energy, not undercut it.”

If you enjoyed this story you can sign up to our weekly email for Energy Live News – and if you’re interested in hearing more about the journey to net zero by 2050, you can also sign up to the future Net Zero newsletter. 

Latest Podcast