Green Building Jobs

The Truth About Green Jobs

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted November 16, 2009

I'm not typically one to debate the merits of green jobs because I see the value of green job creation every single day.

Sure, there are a number of studies out there that question the validity of some green jobs or seek to find a more precise definition of what a green job is. And this is all relevant stuff.

But there are also studies that I have to call out as being nothing more than politically-charged rhetoric.

Like the "7 Myths About Green Jobs" study that came out earlier this year.

I won't get into the nuts and bolts, but despite what seemed like an honest approach to a valid question: How do special interest groups calculate how many green jobs new energy policies would create? I quickly found myself reading what hinted at some questionable intentions hiding behind the guise of academic research.

I agree completely with the notion that an honest examination of methodologies used to calculate these green jobs is important.

But the authors of this study lost me when they stated that ". . . green job estimates often include huge numbers of clerical, bureaucratic and administrative positions that do not produce goods or serves for consumption; and that problematic assumptions are made about economic predictions, prices and technology advancements leading some to ultimately favor mandates over free market realities."


Well, I'm not an economics professor. . . but when unemployment is at 10.2 percent, and a solar company hires an administrative assistant, I think that's completely relevant and should not be trivialized because it may or may not fit into a safe definition scribbled on a bluebook in a college classroom.

And if these guys were really all that concerned about the government favoring mandates over free market realities, than they would've kicked and screamed about the trillions of dollars we shell out in fossil fuel subsidies every year.

But there's no need to spend any more time on this one. The fact is, this particular study has already been picked apart and called out for exactly what it is: a hack piece.

Besides, we have some fantastic new green job numbers to report on today — thanks to a new Green Jobs study from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Green Building Supports 7.9 Million U.S. Jobs

According to this latest Green Jobs study, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy — including $396 billion in wages — from 2009 to 2013. The study also found that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in GDP and wages.

Of course, we've been singing the praises of green building for years.

In fact, I can remember back in 2005 when I told Green Chip readers about the "latest" numbers from McGraw Hill, which put the total value of green construction at $10 billion!

In 2008, that skyrocketed to between $36 and $49 billion. And according to McGraw Hill, 2013 estimates put this market at between $96 and $140 billion.

My friends, not only are we talking about enabling very necessary job creation, but we're also talking about the kind of growth that enables huge opportunities for investors.

Since we launched Green Chip, we've covered (and profited from) green building plays in:

  • Solar

  • LED Lighting Systems

  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation

  • Water Reclamation

  • Environmentally-friendly Paints, Coatings and Sealants

  • Sustainable Building Materials

And as the green building movement continues to grow, so will our opportunities.

To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth. . .

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P.S. As an interesting side note, this new Green Jobs study also found that from 2000-2008, the green construction market realized $1.3 billion in energy savings. Energy savings forecasts for 2009-2013 come in at $6 billion.

P.P.S. Nick will be in California this week, checking out GreenBeat 2009. In addition to Al Gore and Vinod Khosla, Nick will be meeting with plenty of smart grid executives. . . getting the inside scoop on the smart grid so he can deliver even more profits for his readers.