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Advanced Energy Jobs on the Rebound After COVID-19 Setbacks

Posted by Cayli Baker on Apr 19, 2021

In 2020, advanced energy employed 3.2 million workers nationwide, with 8% job growth expected to power economic recovery in 2021.

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 19, 2021 – Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy reported the latest U.S. employment data in a new fact sheet showing overall job trends across the industry. Employing 3.2 million U.S. workers, the advanced energy workforce dipped during the height of the pandemic, but is poised to bounce back strong in 2021. As of late 2020, advanced energy employed more U.S. workers than Food and Beverage stores nationwide (3.1 million) and twice as many as Commercial Banks (1.4 million).

Despite setbacks from COVID-19, employment from advanced energy products and services showed some areas of growth in 2020. Wind energy jobs grew 2%, reaching 117,000 jobs as the industry toppled capacity installation records. Electric vehicle-related jobs grew at the same  rate, indicating continued progress in transportation electrification.  

“The advanced energy industry is set to help the American workforce recover from the COVID pandemic,” said Nat Kreamer, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy. “The industry is poised to bounce back quickly and help our economy emerge stronger than before. Advanced energy technologies are the lowest-cost, and cleanest ways to meet America’s energy needs and investment in them provides consumer savings, creates jobs, and boosts the economy.” 

Advanced energy jobs have become a significant part of the U.S. workforce in recent years, with 3% average yearly job growth from 2017-2019, twice that of overall U.S. jobs. After initial shocks to supply chains resulting in clean energy job losses totalling 15%, the industry adjusted and began to rebound in summer 2020, ending the year down 9% from 2019. 

According to the data – derived from U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Energy and Employment Report (forthcoming) – collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership, Energy Efficiency suffered the largest setbacks in 2020, with employment down 11% from 2019. However, making homes, offices, and industries more efficient still accounted for the largest concentration of advanced energy workers nationwide, with a total of 2.1 million jobs last year. 

Advanced energy momentum is set to pick back up in 2021, and employers are now predicting 8% job growth this year, nearly enough to wipe out the losses from 2020. 

Download the AEE jobs fact sheet here and read our deeper dive into 2020 employment trends here

Background Materials

About Advanced Energy Economy
Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) is a national association of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. AEE is the only industry association in the U.S. that represents the full range of advanced energy technologies and services, both grid-scale and distributed. Advanced energy includes energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, wind, solar, hydro, nuclear, electric vehicles, and more. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and more than a dozen states around the country, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $240 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.2 million U.S. workers. AEE's PowerSuite online platform allows users to track regulatory and legislative issues in state legislatures, U.S. Congress, state PUCs, RTOs/ISOs, and FERC. Sign up for a free trial at Follow us at @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases