‘Green’ Technology Generating US Jobs, Pay

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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A new look at the impact of so-called “green” technology shows it is starting to pay off for at least some U.S. workers.

The report released Wednesday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution says industries that provide some benefit for the environment now employ 2.7 million Americans. It says these “green” jobs – part of what it calls the “clean economy” – also pay higher wages and many of them require little formal education.

Brookings looked at data from between 2003 and 2010.

The report said the “clean economy” expanded more rapidly than the U.S. economy as a whole during the recession and now employs more people than the fossil fuels.

It also says about 26 percent of “clean economy” jobs are in the manufacturing sector and that they are “export intensive.”

Brookings defined the “clean economy” as industries including solar power generation, wastewater treatment and public transportation.

It said companies trying to provide clean, alternative energy, like solar or wind power, make up the smallest segment of the sector.

The Brookings report warned that while America’s “clean economy” is full of potential, it risks falling behind to other countries without more government support.

The report recommended the government do more to spark demand for environmentally friendly goods and energy. It also said Congress needs to gradually increase funding for research and development.