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Oregon: The Green Jobs Leader

By Eric Hess

New study shows Oregon leads in green jobs.

Folks in Oregon have been trumpeting the good news all day today -- and rightly so; according to the Pew Charitable Trusts Oregon has the largest percentage of its jobs involved in the clean energy economy. (Click map for larger version)

Green jobs map

True -- it's a small chunk (1.02 percent of the 1.9 million jobs in the state), but it shows that the state has claimed a lead in the transition to the new energy economy.

Idaho also ranked well, in the second tier with .63 percent of its jobs being green. Washington didn't fare quite as well -- only .55 percent of its 3.1 million jobs.

As we've noted before, it's hard to define exactly what green-collar jobs are. Pew puts them in the context of the clean energy economy, which it defines as:

A clean energy economy generates jobs, businesses and investments while expanding clean energy production, increasing energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, waste and pollution, and conserving water and other natural resources.

The clean energy economy cuts across five categories: (1) Clean Energy; (2) Energy Efficiency; (3) Environmentally Friendly Production; (4) Conservation and Pollution Mitigation; and (5) Training and Support.

See the NYT blog piece on it, and the report itself (pdf).

This piece originally appeared in Sightline Institute's blog, The Daily Score.

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News like this both frustrates me and gives me solace. For those of us living in "the fly-over" the green economy is YEARS away at best. It is sad when you are from Texas, the oil and gas capital of the US, and your home state has more green jobs percentage) than does the midwestern state in which you currently reside. But on the other hand, state with the highest percentage of green jobs has only 1%.

I stated a green business in 06. I had to close last year due to the economy. Mine would not have qualified - I sold green consumer products (specifically clothing and accessories). The problem with starting a green business -of any kind- in the fly over is that there are few, if any, green consumers. I wonder how true this is in other economies.

Posted by: Lori on 12 Jun 09

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