LANSING – More than 122,000 Michigan residents now work in clean energy industries in every county in the state according to a new analysis of energy jobs data from Clean Energy Trust and the national, nonpartisan business group E2, short for Environmental Entrepreneurs.
Michigan’s clean energy workforce now employs more than all the waiters and waitresses, computer programmers, lawyers and web developers in Michigan combined, according to Department of Labor Employment Statistics.
Energy efficiency once again led all clean energy sectors in Michigan, employing 84,052 workers – accounting for six in ten of all clean energy workers. Advanced transportation came in second with over 21,816 jobs – led by hybrid and electric vehicles (19,500).
“Clean energy needs to be seen as the economic driver it is and hopefully this new report can get that message across to Michigan’s leaders and voters,” said Jim Saber, president and CEO of Detroit-based cleantech incubator, Next Energy. “As someone who has worked in this space for decades, I can see the growing impact the sector has on jobs and why it’s continued growth is vital to our 21st century economy.
Clean Jobs Midwest highlights Michigan leading the region in alternative transportation with over twenty thousand jobs. Overall, Michigan now employs nine times more workers in clean energy than fossil fuels.
Contributing the most clean energy jobs were Oakland (30,276), Wayne (20,264), and Macomb (12,456) counties. Detroit and Grand Rapids metro areas combined are home to 63,945 jobs while over 24,512 jobs came from the Michigan’s rural areas.
“The beauty of data is that it cuts through political rhetoric. These findings show that clean energy jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency are growing across the region and that the Midwest continues to demonstrate it is a fertile region for clean energy innovation, enabling businesses to launch, grow, and create jobs,” said Erik G. Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. “Everyone should embrace and support these sectors that are driving economic development.”
Detailed and interactive breakdowns of Michigan’s clean energy economy are available at CleanJobsMidwest.com – including job totals for every Michigan county, congressional district, and state legislative district.
Other key findings:
- Renewable energy, led by wind and solar, employs 11,207 Michigan residents
- Over 4,500 Michigan residents now work in grid modernization and energy storage
- The majority of Michigan’s clean energy jobs are in construction and manufacturing (79.6%).
- Clean fuels and clean vehicle technologies employ 22,376 workers
- Employers project 8% percent clean energy job growth in 2018
- Small businesses are driving Michigan’s clean energy sectors, with 77.6% of clean energy businesses employing fewer than 20 individuals
- 11.2% of Michigan residents employed in clean energy are veterans
“Clean jobs count in Michigan,” said Micaela Preskill, E2’s Midwest Advocate. “Michigan is the home to more clean energy jobs than any state in the region and is a shining example of how states continue to lead on clean energy despite the lack of leadership from Washington.”
Across the entire 12-state region, Clean Jobs Midwest found that clean energy employment totaled 714,255 at the end of last year – led by Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio each with more than 100,000 jobs and four other states each accounting for over 50,000 jobs.
The report follows E2’s Clean Jobs America analysis which found the clean energy jobs account for nearly 3.2 million jobs across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Both reports expand on the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER) released in May by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). CET and E2 were partners on the USEER.
More information about E2’s clean energy jobs research can be found at www.e2.org/reports.