Yesterday I wrote about the closing of a solar facility in Massachusetts and how that will bring more green jobs to China. It wasn’t a happy green jobs post so today I bring you better news for the green economy here in the United States, specifically California. A new report from Next 10 reveals a 3 percent increase in green jobs in the state between January 2008 and January 2009. While three percent doesn’t sound like much, overall job growth in the state was only one percent during the same time period.

Other highlights from Next 10’s Many Shades of Green: Regional Distribution and Trends in California’s Green Economy (PDF) report include:

  • Green jobs growth is now similar to software job growth in the state
  • There are 174,000 Core Green Economy jobs in the state, up from 111,000 in 1995
  • The Energy Generation industry is the quickest growing green job sector
  • Green job growth between 1995 and 2009 was strongest in the San Francisco and Sacramento areas followed by Orange County and the San Joaquin Valley
  • Green job growth between January 2008 and January 2009 was eight percent in the San Francisco area and seven percent in the San Diego area
Dough Henton, CEO of Collaborative Economics, comments on the green job growth in the state:
“Based on our research, California is well positioned to effectively leverage emerging opportunities and lead the expansion of clean energy markets worldwide. Considering that, by revenue, energy represents the largest industry in the world, California’s leadership in this sector is a major factor in our future economic health.” Source: Next 10

So it looks like California and China are going to go head to head in the green economy leader challenge. I’m rooting for California.

As I sit here and look through this report, I immediately think of what the green jobs naysayers are going to say. We’re likely going to see comments about how an increase of 63,000 jobs over 14 years is nothing to be excited about. My answer to this comment is quite simple: any job growth in today’s economy is something to be excited about.

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