A new study from the Economic Policy Institute reveals that industries with more green jobs experience faster job growth than the overall economy. The study goes beyond a quick look at the typical green job strongholds like renewable energy and examines the effect that green jobs have in all industries by examining an industry’s green intensity. Green intensity is the share of green jobs when compared to total employment; the greater the share, the greater the green intensity.


Findings from the report, Counting Up To Green: Assessing the green economy and its implications for growth and equity, include:


  • Each percentage point increase in an industry’s green intensity led to a 0.034 percent increase in annual employment growth compared to the overall economy.
  • Green jobs are readily accessible to individuals without a four-year college degree.
  • Manufacturing accounts for 20.4 percent of green jobs, compared to 10.8 percent of total private employment.
  • Almost 50 percent of jobs in the water industry and considered green jobs; a perfect example of how green jobs go beyond the renewable energy industry.
  • The vast majority of green jobs are in the private sector – 73 percent in 2010.

In addition to examining green jobs and intensity by sector, EPI Senior Policy Analyst and study author Ethan Pollack also looked at green intensity by state. Vermont had the highest green intensity with 3.9 percent of its total job pool considered green. Behind Vermont were Pennsylvania (3.1 percent), Colorado (3.0 percent), Washington (3.0 percent) and Oregon (2.9 percent).


At the other end of the spectrum were the five states with the lowest green intensity:


  1. Nevada – 1.3 percent
  2. Florida – 1.4 percent
  3. Oklahoma – 1.4 percent
  4. West Virginia – 1.5 percent
  5. Arizona – 1.5 percent
Greener industries have stronger job growth
Industries with more green jobs grow faster than the overall economy.