WASHINGTON, D.C. – While “green jobs” have been the topic of much discussion in recent years, just 2.4 percent of the U.S. workforce – 3.1 million people – were employed in the production of green goods and services in 2010, according to recently-released data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The bureau defines Green Goods and Services (GGS) jobs as those found in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. The private sector accounted for 2.3 million green jobs and the public sector had 860,300.
Among the states, California had the largest number of green jobs (338,400), accounting for 2.3 percent of employment in the state. Vermont had the highest proportion of GGS employment at 4.4 percent. Just 76,025 New Jersey workers, or 2 percent of the Garden State’s workforce, were employed in green jobs.
The GGS employment data are compiled through the Green Goods and Services survey under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The GGS survey includes approximately 120,000 business and government establishments within 333 industries that are identified as potentially producing green goods or providing green services. Establishments in the sample report whether they produced green goods and services and the percentage of their revenue or employment associated with that output. Those percentages are multiplied by their employment to derive the number of GGS jobs for the establishment.
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