New Study Defines, Identifies Green Jobs in U.S.

July 13, 2011, By Julie Wernau, Tribune reporter
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-13/business/ct-biz-0713-bf-green-jobs-20110713_1_green-jobs-green-economy-traditional-jobs
Everywhere you turn, so-called green jobs are touted for their ability to pull the nation out of its economic slump. But what exactly is a green job? Is Chicago creating any? Do they pay? For the first time since the term was coined, someone has answers.
A seminal study to be released Wednesday by the Brookings Institution defines the term and has determined where such jobs exist. The report makes it possible for policymakers to see which industries are producing such jobs and where and how the clean economy is growing. . . .
The report laid out challenges and opportunities for the Chicago metropolitan area. For example, Brookings rated the Chicago area third among the 100 largest metro areas in the nation, with 79,388 jobs defined as green, everything from workers assembling wind turbines to scientists researching the next breakthrough in battery technology. However, those jobs, the think tank said, account for only 1.8 percent of all jobs in the region, which ranks the city 45th in the nation. And while the region's clean economy has been growing at a rate of 3.7 percent a year since 2003, that growth rate is slower than other major metropolitan areas. Most of the region's green jobs are in mass transit and waste management and treatment, the study found. The fastest-growing segments of Chicago's clean economy are in wind and solar. The region's green jobs pay slightly better than traditional jobs: $42,816 per year compared with $42,557 for all jobs in Chicago. . . .
The sheer size of Chicago's economy, Brookings found, makes it the nation's largest exporter of green goods and services. For every green job, $25,002 in goods and services are exported. . . .
For instance, 13 major wind companies are headquartered in Illinois. And while the industry is still small compared with other green job creators, it has grown 39 percent since 2003, second only to solar, according to Brookings. . . .

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