WASHINGTON — According to preliminary data from the “National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce,” The Solar Foundation announced that solar businesses added 6,735 new workers in all 50 states from August 2010 to August 2011, which represents a 6.8 percent growth rate. The foundation said that there are now 100,237 people working in the U.S. solar industry.

“The U.S. solar industry is creating jobs at a far greater pace than the economy as a whole,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation. “The National Solar Jobs Census series provides a definitive measure of the U.S. solar workforce and its growth over time. It proves where smart solar energy policies are having the most impact both in terms of states and across the vast solar supply chain.”

“Solar is a job-creating phenomenon in an economy that is flat-lining, with near 7 percent year-on-year increase in the number of Americans working in the industry,” said Danny Kennedy, president of residential solar installer Sungevity and a member of The Solar Foundation’s board of directors. “This is a sign of a thriving industry — due to the demand for lower cost, clean electricity that creates value in America.”

The full National Solar Jobs Census 2011 report is being made available at Solar Power International ’11 in Dallas. The Census examines employment along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities and all other fields and includes growth rates and job numbers for 31 separate occupations. It also examines solar employment at the state level.

The National Solar Jobs Census 2011 was conducted by The Solar Foundation and Green LMI (a division of BW Research Partnership) with technical assistance from Cornell University.

“By using high-quality research methodology, we can ensure that these numbers are as accurate as possible,” said John Bunge, associate professor in the Department of Statistical Science at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. “Using both primary and secondary data sources, along with careful statistical analysis, gives us high confidence in the results.”

For more information, visit www.thesolarfoundation.org.

Publication date: 10/17/2011