U.S. solar industry jobs increased in numerous states with emerging solar markets, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2017, the eighth annual report on solar employment released by The Solar Foundation.
Solar jobs increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia in 2017, including many states with emerging solar markets. States with significant job gains of 20 percent or higher include Tennessee, Utah, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maine.
Tennessee specifically reported a 24% year to year growth, increasing from 3,548 solar jobs in 2016 to 4,411 solar jobs in 2017.
The Volunteer State now ranks #14 in the nation for solar jobs with a 2017 ratio of solar workers to overall workforce of 1 in every 668 people, according to the Solar Foundation’s State-by-State break down.
The long-term trend shows significant jobs growth nationwide. The solar workforce increased by 168 percent in the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 to over 250,000 jobs in 2017.
Other key findings from the National Solar Jobs Census 2017 include:
Demand-side sectors (installation, sales & distribution, and project development) make up almost 78 percent of overall solar industry employment, while manufacturing makes up 15 percent.
The solar industry is more diverse than comparable industries, but more needs to be done to ensure it is representative of the greater U.S. population.