Economy / The US energy sector employed 6.5 million workers by 2017, an increase of 133,000 jobs over the previous year, according to the US Energy & Employment Report (USEER) , which has just been released by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). Half of them - 67,000 - were created by energy efficiency companies.
The growth rate of energy jobs was 2%, slightly above the national average of 1.7%. But this growth scenario is not accompanied by supply: more than two out of three companies heard (70%) reported difficulties in hiring skilled workers in the last 12 months. For 2018, the companies participating in the survey anticipated a 6.1% increase in employment, excluding the motor vehicle sector, indicating that the demand for skilled labor will remain warm.
The report looked at four sectors of the US energy industry: electric power generation and fuels; transmission, distribution and storage; energy efficiency; and motor vehicles. Jobs in the energy sector accounted for almost 7% of all new jobs across the country in 2017.
Jobs in natural gas electricity generation have continued to grow, adding more than 19,000 new jobs as natural gas continues to rise to the number one fuel point for US electricity generation. Solar energy companies have employed totally or partially 350,000 people by 2017. This represents a reduction of 24,000 solar jobs by 2017 - the first net loss of jobs since solar jobs were compiled for the first time in 2010.
The USEER, and its appendix providing statistical details for all 50 states, are available for download at www.USEenergyjobs.org .