U.S. solar companies will create jobs far more rapidly than will the general economy, according to a newly released assessment of the solar industry.
Over the next 12 months, a 26 percent job growth rate will create 24,000 jobs, according to the first National Solar Jobs Census 2010. By contrast, the U.S. economy projects to grow by 2 percent during the same period.
About 93,000 employees worked in the solar industry as of August, according to the census released on October 13. More than half of the solar firms are anticipating increasing their staff counts during the next year. Two percent of the solar firms expect to eliminate jobs.
The state with the highest population of solar energy companies is California, which holds 30 percent of the companies, according to the census. Regionally, most solar jobs are in the west, followed by the northeast, but solar energy companies are growing throughout the country.
Based in Washington, The Solar Foundation is a non-profit that has been in operation for more than 30 years during which it has promoted solar energy technology uses for the world's energy needs.