The American solar workforce grew at a historic pace in 2016, a year when one out of every fifty new U.S. jobs was in the solar industry, according to the new “National Solar Jobs Census 2016,” the seventh annual report on solar employment issued by The Solar Foundation.
The National Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar industry employment growth outpaced the overall U.S. economy by 17 times as it increased by over 51,000 jobs, for a total of 260,077 U.S. solar workers.
The solar workforce grew by 25 percent over 2015, the largest annual growth percentage since The Solar Foundation’s first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.
The number of solar jobs increased in 44 of the 50 states in 2016, showing that solar industry growth is truly a nationwide phenomenon. The state with the highest total number of solar jobs in 2016 was California, followed by Massachusetts, Texas, Nevada, and Florida.
“With a near tripling of solar jobs since 2010, the solar industry is an American success story that has created hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation.
“In 2016, we saw a dramatic increase in the solar workforce across the nation, thanks to a rapid decrease in the cost of solar panels and unprecedented consumer demand for solar installations.”
Solar job growth in 2016 took place in all job sectors, including a 26 percent growth in manufacturing companies to 38,121 jobs nationwide. Installation jobs increased by 14 percent to a total of 137,133 jobs. Project development jobs increased by 53 percent to 34,400 jobs, while sales and distribution jobs increased by 32 percent to 32,147 jobs.