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The Green Job Market in Numbers

Workers in the green economy make an average annual wage of $51k per year, according to JobsEQ analysis. This represents a $10k difference from the national median salary of $42k per year. While green job annual wages can range from those in the twenty-fifth percentile making $36k per year to those in the seventy-fifth percentile making $80k per year, the overall higher average wages coupled with forecasted demand should create a more optimistic view of the industry for current and future workers.

Although the green job market shows no sign of slowing down, there were around 1.83 million green workers unemployed in Q3 of 2021. This translates to an unemployment rate in the green job market of 5%. This rate was fairly similar to the national unemployment rate during the same period. Furthermore, the green job market is recovering from the ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic in a similar fashion to the market writ-large. While green jobs have returned to somewhat pre-pandemic levels, forecasting by JobsEQ predicts continued future demand for green jobs with 1.2 million net new jobs needed in the next five years and 2.5 million net new jobs in the next ten years—a 3% growth rate.

Most recent data estimates that as of Q3 of FY 2021 there were 36 million workers employed in “green occupations” as categorized by JobsEQ. These occupations range from seasonal labor positions to executive management positions, and therefore represent an industry with significant job diversity (full list of included occupations and SOC codes here).

Employment in this cohort of occupations comes after years of growth, with slight declines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, rates in the number of green workers without a college degree has grown at a fairly similar rate as those with a college degree or higher, addressing to an extent some concern that this market would lack opportunities for workers with fewer years of education.

The five largest occupations in the green jobs’ cohort work are in the operations, personal services, farming and ranching, construction, and marketing industries. This variety only scratches the surface of the variety for the green job market. Yet, it does re-emphasize the expansive definition for “green jobs”. There is not a singular role or position that can embody the many necessary components of a green economy.

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