California is home to the largest advanced energy industry in the country, according to the first-ever industry-wide survey released today by the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.
At 431,800 jobs today, advanced energy is bigger by employment in California than the motion picture, television, and radio industries; mining and quarrying; semiconductors; and aerospace. Advanced energy jobs grew 5% in the past year – more than double the overall state job growth rate – and is on track to grow 17% in the coming year, to more than 500,000 workers, based on employer hiring plans.
While California is widely recognized as a national leader in energy policy, jobs directly related to the industry have not been quantified until now. The survey of more than 2,000 businesses, conducted by BW Research Partnership, a workforce and economic development research firm, found that, among the 10 states that have studied these industries, California has the largest advanced energy workforce in the country. It is also second in the country, tied with Massachusetts, for percentage of the state's overall workforce employed in advanced energy, at 2.4% only Vermont, at 4.3%, has a higher concentration of workers in this broad economic sector.
The full California Advanced Energy Survey is available at .
Findings of the California Advanced Energy Employment Survey include:
- California is home to 43,700 businesses serving advanced energy markets.
- Advanced energy employs 431,800 Californians – an increase of 5% over 2013, which is more than double the rate of overall state job growth of 2.2% and about three times the national job growth rate of 1.6%.
- About half of all advanced energy-related companies surveyed expect to add employees during the coming year, for more than 70,000 new jobs – a 17% projected increase over the coming year, pushing advanced energy employment past a half-million jobs in 2015.
Overall, building energy efficiency is the largest segment of the advanced energy industry, supported by California's policy commitment to energy conservation, advanced building codes, and energy efficiency incentives. More than 300,000 Californians are employed making buildings, homes and businesses more energy efficient.
The survey also showed that advanced electricity generation technologies, including wind and solar power, are major components of the advanced energy economy in California. Nearly 73,000 people are employed in the solar industry in California, full or part-time. Growth over the past 12 months has been particularly dramatic, with workers spending more than half their time on solar up 16% from last year.
Though employment totals are smaller, advanced grid technologies, especially electric vehicle and energy storage, have also established footholds in the California economy.