One of the essential challenges in the coming years involves the future of work. With the twin pressures of globalization and automation dramatically disrupting the job market, many questions have been raised about America’s ability to maintain full employment.
Although various ideas have been proposed to help manage the fallout from a future where most jobs are automated (everything from a universal basic income to massive retraining), the potential still exists for newer technologies to significantly offset expected job contraction.
Clean energy is perhaps the most promising of these technologies. It has the potential to partially make up for expected job losses in sectors such as manufacturing, oil and coal. Early data also indicates that this potential is beginning to be realized.
Can clean energy jumpstart the U.S. economy?
The recent job numbers from the renewable energy space are exceptionally impressive. Clean energy is now creating new jobs faster than virtually any other economic sector in the United States. Overall, clean energy employs roughly three million Americans.
Some key statistics to note are the following:
- The solar and wind industry are creating jobs at a rate 12 times fasterthan the rest of the U.S. economy.
- The solar industry now employs more people (209,000) than the coal industry (150,000).
- Studies have shown that the solar sector has the potential to absorb all projected job losses in the rapidly-shrinking coal industry over the next 15 years.
- Wind sector jobs have grown 20-percent since 2015 and are projected to grow even faster in the decade ahead.
- Globally, renewable energy employs 1 million people— a number poised to grow exponentially over the next 15 years.
These numbers represent the tip of the iceberg. Corporate commitments to using renewable energy—and the maturation of the technology from the consumer standpoint—will lead to even greater demand for clean energy in the coming decades.
Recruiting Top Talent
The renewable energy sector is poised to be one of the most exciting areas for recruiters and HR managers in the coming years. As the industry experiences massive growth, the ability to attract and retain the very best workers will provide firms with a distinct competitive edge.
On the other hand, organizations that do not have the ability to attract top talent will struggle to remain competitive. Without a pipeline of talented workers to tap, the pressures of extreme growth in a rapidly changing industry will be difficult to overcome.
The Bottom Line
Clean energy is producing jobs at a vastly faster rate than the rest of the U.S. economy. It also has the potential to offset job losses in industries such as coal and manufacturing. By ensuring access to a strong and consistent talent pipeline, companies in this industry can remain highly competitive despite rapid technological changes.
Contact us at Duffy Group, Inc., to learn more about this growing industry and how your organization can remain viable and successful.