Whacking emissions, installing solar panels and erecting windmills are not just good for the earth, they're good for American paychecks, according to a new top 10 list issued Wednesday by The Green Collar Association and The Center for American Progress.
The list attempts to show just how vital green jobs are to the economy and to possibly slashing the nation's 9.1 percent unemployment rate. You be the judge. "Green" is certainly not curing all of America's ills, but it appears to be a good start.
The Top 10 REASONS WHY GREEN JOBS ARE VITAL:
1. There are already 2.7 million jobs across the clean economy.
2 For every $1 million dollars spent on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green transit and other clean energy projects, there are 16.7 green jobs created.
3. The clean energy sector is growing a healthy 8.3 percent a year on average. The stars of such stats are:
- U.S. wind energy - up 35 percent annually from 2006-2010
- Solar thermal energy - up 18.4 percent annuall y from 2003-2010.
- Solar Photovoltaic power - up 10.7 percent
- Biofuels - up 8.9 percent
4. The manufacturing of cleaner cars now employs more than 150,000 Americans.
5. Median wages are about 13 percent higher in green energy careers than in other sectors of the economy.
6. On average about 90 percent of the products used in energy efficiency retrofits are made in America. Examples include sheetmetal for duct work (99%), rigid foam insulation (95%), vinyl windows (98%), furnaces (94%), heat pumps and AC (82 %).
7. Solar power component makers boast a positive trade balance with $1.9 billion in exports, including to China.
8. Three U.S. energy retrofit programs have employed 25,000 Americans in three months: 1) Weatherization Assistance Program; 2) Energy Efficiency Block Grant Program and 3) State Energy Programs.
9. Some 91 percent of firms doing clean energy retrofits are small businesses with fewer than 20 workers.
10. About 41 percent of the nation's green jobs offer medium and long term careers and training opportunities. Roughly 26 percent are in the manufacturing sector.