Green Jobs Increases to 3.4 Million in 2011, Accounting for 2.6% of Total Employment

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 19, 2013. In 2011, the percentage of total employment associated with the production of Green Goods and Services (GGS) increased by 0.1 percentage point to 2.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The number of GGS jobs increased by 157,746 to 3,401,279. GGS employment accounted for 2.3 percent of private sector jobs and 4.2 percent of public sector jobs in 2011. The private sector had 2,515,200 GGS jobs, while the public sector had 886,080 GGS jobs.

Among private sector industries, construction had the largest employment rate increase, from 7.0 to 8.9 percentage points, while manufacturing had the most GGS jobs (507,168). (See table 1.) GGS jobs are found in businesses that primarily produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.

Among the states, California had the largest number of GGS jobs (360,245), accounting for 2.5 percent of employment in the state. The District of Columbia had the highest proportion of GGS employment, at 5.1 percent; Oregon had the second highest proportion, at 4.3 percent. (See table 4.)

GGS employment data are compiled through the Green Goods and Services survey under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The QCEW includes nearly all businesses with employees covered by state or federal unemployment insurance, which constitute approximately 95.7 percent of civilian wage and salary employment in the U.S. The GGS survey includes approximately 120,000 business and government establishments within 325 industries identified as potentially producing green goods or providing green services.

Establishments in the survey 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. More information about the survey is provided in the Technical Note.

Private Industry

The private sector had 2,515,200 GGS jobs in 2011, or 2.3 percent of private sector employment. (See tables A and 1.) Manufacturing had the largest number of GGS jobs (507,168) among all private industry sectors. These GGS jobs accounted for 4.3 percent of manufacturing employment. Examples of green goods and services produced by manufacturing industries include iron and steel from recycled inputs, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment meeting selected standards, hybrid cars and parts, and pollution mitigation equipment. (See table 3.)

Construction had 487,709 GGS jobs in 2011, comprising 8.9 percent of the sector’s employment. The sector had the largest increase in GGS employment from 2010 to 2011, up 101,932, or 26.4 percent. Among the GGS activities performed within the sector are the construction of plants that produce energy from renewable sources and weatherizing and retrofitting projects that reduce household energy consumption.

The trade sector had 223,079 GGS jobs in 2011, accounting for 1.1 percent of the industry’s employment. This sector’s increase of 17,512 GGS jobs, or 8.5 percent over the year, was the second largest significant change in the private sector. Industries within the trade sector that have GGS output include recyclable material merchant wholesalers and used merchandise stores.

Leisure and hospitality services had 23,696 GGS jobs in 2011. GGS employment in leisure and hospitality grew by 3,054, or 14.8 percent over the year. Nature parks and botanical gardens are examples of GGS services within leisure and hospitality services.

In the transportation and warehousing sector, the number of GGS jobs decreased by 3,382 to 238,755, a decline of about 1.4 percent. Commuter rail systems and charter bus services are examples of GGS services within transportation and warehousing.


Utilities had 71,129 GGS jobs in 2011, or 12.9 percent of total private utilities employment. The private utilities sector added 2,098 GGS jobs in 2011, a 3.0 percent increase. Among the industries involved in private sector electric power generation, nuclear electric power generation had the highest GGS employment, with 44,054 jobs in 2011. Hydroelectric power generation had the second largest GGS employment, with 3,780 GGS jobs. Wind electric power generation was third with 2,724 GGS jobs, followed by biomass electric power generation (1,166), geothermal electric power generation (1,017), and solar electric power generation (522). Other electric power generation had 525 GGS jobs in 2011. (See table 2 for public sector utilities data and table 3 for private sector utilities data.)


The public sector had 886,080 GGS jobs in 2011, accounting for 4.2 percent of employment in the sector. Over the year, government GGS employment decreased by 14,890 (-1.7 percent). Local government had 424,201 GGS jobs in 2011, the most in the public sector, representing 3.1 percent of local government employment. The transportation and warehousing sector had the largest GGS employment in local government with 209,063 jobs. (See table 2.)

In 2011, state government had 248,539 GGS jobs, or 5.5 percent of state government employment. Public administration led GGS employment in state government with 164,952 GGS jobs. The enforcement of environmental regulations and the administration of environmental programs are examples of GGS services within public administration.

The federal government had 213,340 GGS jobs representing 7.5 percent of federal government employment in 2011. The public administration sector had 139,884 GGS jobs, the most within federal government. The professional, scientific, and technical services sector followed with 39,714 GGS jobs.

Geographic Detail

Ten states had over 100,000 GGS jobs in 2011: California (360,245), New York (266,308), Texas (227,532), Pennsylvania (167,397), Ohio (137,143), Illinois (136,447), Florida (117,433), North Carolina (108,094), Virginia (107,773), and Washington (101,593). (See table 4.)

The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of GGS total employment of any jurisdiction (5.1 percent) in 2011. Oregon had the next highest proportion of its employment in GGS jobs (4.3 percent).

California experienced the largest increase in GGS employment, with an additional 17,366 GGS jobs, or 5.1 percent added, over the year.

Maryland had the second largest increase in GGS employment, with 14,143 GGS jobs, or 18.3 percent added between 2010 and 2011.

GGS employment by percentage of revenue or employment from green goods and services GGS employment is determined based on the percentage of revenue (or percentage of employment, in the absence of revenue) associated with the production of green goods and services. The GGS survey scope is defined as 325 6-digit NAICS industries that potentially produce green goods and services. Any establishment within that scope could fall into one of three categories: no revenue or employment from green goods or services, some revenue or employment from green goods or services, or all revenue or employment from green goods and services.

In 2011, the majority (56.5 percent) of GGS employment was found in establishments that exclusively produced green goods and services; these establishments had 1,923,251 GGS jobs. Establishments that produced a mix of green and non-green goods and services had 1,478,029 GGS jobs in the same time period. Establishments that produced no green goods or services (i.e., no revenue or employment was associated with green goods and services in those establishments) accounted for 67.1 percent of employment within the GGS scope. (See table B.)

For More Information

The tables and charts included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data for 2011 green employment levels and percents for all states are provided in tables 4, 5, and 6 of this release. For additional information about the Green Goods and Services data, please read the Technical Note. Further information about the GGS data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-5185 or by accessing the GGS web page at www.bls.gov/ggs.

To view the tables referenced above, see: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ggqcew.nr0.htm

Source: bls.gov