BLS Green Jobs Overview

By Sommers, Dixie | Monthly Labor Review, January 2013 | Go to article overview

BLS Green Jobs Overview


Sommers, Dixie, Monthly Labor Review


Through its green jobs initiative, BLS has developed its green jobs Definition and published information on green careers and results From three new data collection activities that measure the number of Green jobs that produce green goods and services and the number of Jobs related to the use of green technologies and practices

The first decade of this century saw Growing attention to issues of renewable Energy, energy independence And conservation, and global warming. This interest led to an expectation that A "green economy" would emerge and create Associated "green jobs." Many public officials At all levels of government, as well as business Leaders and others, developed plans and Programs regarding green jobs, such as Congress Passing the Green Jobs Act in 2007. (1) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contained significant funding For energy projects and green jobs training. (2)

At the same time, however, little reliable Or consistent data were available about the Number and types of green jobs, and the data That did exist used a variety of green jobs Definitions. To help address this information Gap, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) requested And received funding starting in fiscal Year (FY) 2010 for a green jobs initiative.

In its budget request, BLS proposed Working with other federal agencies and key Organizations to define green jobs and then To produce data about these jobs. BLS proposed To "produce new data measuring employment And wages for businesses whose Primary activities can be defined as 'green' And produce information on the occupations Involved, in whole or in part, in green Economic activities." (3) In addition, BLS proposed To conduct "special employer surveys" To provide information on the occupations And wages paid in green jobs and to develop And disseminate career information related To green jobs.

Since FY 2010, BLS has implemented The green jobs initiative, which resulted in Developing the BLS green jobs definition And publishing articles on green careers And results from three new data collection Activities: the Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey, GGS occupations (GGS-OCC) Data, and Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) survey.

The GGS survey indicated that in 2010, The United States had 3.1 million green Goods and services (GGS) jobs. GGS jobs accounted For 2.4 percent of total U.S. wage And salary employment. (4) The private sector Had 2.3 million GGS jobs, and the public Sector had 860,000 GGS jobs. Additional Results and data for 2011 will be presented in A forthcoming Monthly Labor Review article.

GGS-OCC data indicate that establishments That received all their revenue from GGS had about 540,000 transportation and Material moving jobs, about 208,000 production Jobs, and 194,000 office and administrative Support jobs in November 2011. In His article in this issue, Zachary Warren Discusses GGS-OCC data.

The GTP survey showed that, in August 2011, about Three-quarters of business establishments reported using At least one green technology or practice. Approximately 854,700 jobs were held by workers who spent more than Half of their time involved in green technologies and Practices (GTP). Audrey Watson presents further highlights From the GTP survey in this issue's visual essay.

The Parrott and Wiatrowski article in this issue provides Safety and health information for occupations that Comprise the largest number of GTP jobs.

The remainder of this overview article describes how BLS developed its green jobs definition and how each of The three data collection activities were designed, tested, And implemented, along with their limitations. The article Wraps up by briefly discussing the green career information.

How BLS developed its green jobs definition

The first step in the BLS green jobs initiative was to develop A definition of green jobs. BLS established three Criteria for the definition: it must be objective, be measurable, And use standard classifications.

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