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Green Jobs in Red States

Despite the ongoing debates on Capitol Hill, green job initiatives appear to be less controversial outside of Washington D.C.

In recent years, green sector jobs, with an emphasis on clean tech jobs, have been praised by all parties as a solution to generating sustainable energy, as well as the source of jobs that provide living-wages for employees and their families. But ultimately, green sector growth contributes to a stronger economy.

However, one must turn to the states, not the capitol, if they wish to obtain an authentic representation of the progress being made. Republican governors and mayors, especially, are more concerned with creating well paying jobs than raking in ballot tallies. This may account for the higher favorability rank amongst local government officials, who are more positively received than national politicians and certainly more so than Congress; of the latter they are five times more favored.

Green jobs can be defined as those that create products or services that benefit the environment. Much of this growth, in both red and blue states, are found in manufacturing jobs. Often, these positions are in the clean tech and energy sectors, with wind energy leading in the creation of renewable energy jobs.

Currently, the states with the fastest growth rates are as follows:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Texas
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Illinois
  6. Ohio
  7. Florida
  8. New Jersey
  9. Georgia
  10. Washington

Of all the “growth” states, a majority are either red or swing states. Only two, Hawaii and New York, are blue states. Also worth noting, many of the states who rely on green sector jobs the most, taking into account all non-farm jobs, are often the smallest in regards to population. Alaska, for example, had the highest growth rate of any state, at 98 percent, from 2003 to 2010. By 2010, Alaska had a total of 16,682 green sector jobs, despite a 47 placement in population rankings. It, too, is a red state.

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