Western states have the most clean economy jobs
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
The West, led by Alaska and Oregon, has the highest concentration of clean economy jobs.
Oregon has the second-largest share of "clean economy" jobs in the nation, according to a report released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution. The report also describes the Portland metro area as a "multi-dimensional" clean economy.
The report, "Sizing the Clean Economy," was created in partnership with Batelle's Technology Partnership Practice to put some numbers around the so-called "green" or "clean" economy. The report also endeavors to explain why it's important.
"The clean economy merits attention because its growth responds to worldwide megatrends associated with critical national and world challenges," the report reads, "notably the growing demand for global environmental sustainability, the sharpening need for resource security and the aspiration everywhere toward economic transformation."
Brookings pegs the clean economy at 2.7 million U.S. jobs. California has the highest sheer number of clean jobs but Alaska, followed by Oregon, has the most in proportion with their working-age populations.
The report counts jobs across a variety of industries — natural resources, transit, recycling and home efficiency contracting — as part of the clean economy. Waste management is the industry with the largest share of clean economy workers at 14 percent.
Clean economy jobs in general offer higher wages and more export opportunity than general-economy jobs, according to the report.
Overall, the institute reports, the clean economy grew more slowly in aggregate than the overall economy, though pockets such as clean energy and venture capital-backed cleantech grew explosively.
The report is packed with policy recommendations including:
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