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More Illinois Workers in Advanced Energy Than in Supermarkets & Groceries, Twice Those in Real Estate

Posted by Aidan Boyd on Sep 17, 2020

Employers expected strong 6% growth for advanced energy jobs in 2020 prior to pandemic

CHICAGO, September 17, 2020 — Today, national business group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) reported the latest employment data in a new fact sheet showing that Illinois had 137,300 people working in advanced energy in 2019. This represents more workers than those in Supermarkets & Grocery Stores (113,686) and more than twice those in Real Estate (58,810). Nationwide, there were 3.6 million advanced energy workers.

Illinois advanced energy employment saw modest 0.7% growth last year – an increase of 1,000 jobs – consistent with the state’s overall job growth of 0.5%. But employers expected a strong 6% increase in advanced energy jobs for 2020 when surveyed late last year, before the COVID-19 health crisis hit.

The largest jobs segments were Energy Efficiency with 91,000 workers, which grew 2%, and Advanced Electricity Generation employing 25,300. Growth was led by Solar Energy (11%), Fuel Cell Vehicles (10%), Energy Efficient Materials (6%), Energy Storage (5%), Corn Ethanol (3%), and Hybrid Electric and Natural Gas Vehicles (both up 3%).

“With nearly 140,000 advanced energy workers in Illinois, advanced energy is now a significant segment of our state’s workforce and economy,” said Daniel Bloom, Policy Principal with AEE. “Considering employer expectations of growth going into 2020, advanced energy is poised to help drive economic growth in the future, attracting investment and creating thousands of good jobs.”

Key 2019 Illinois employment data are summarized in a fact sheet include:

  • Energy efficiency led with more than 91,000 jobs, or 66% of total advanced energy employment in the state.
  • Advanced electricity generation supports 25,300 jobs, or 18% of total, with growth led by solar (11%).
  • Advanced vehicles provide employment for 10,100 workers (7% of total), declining 3% in 2019, following a stunning 26% increase in 2018. But there was growth in fuel cell vehicles (up 10%) and hybrid electric and natural gas vehicles (both up 3%).
  • Advanced grid & storage employs 5,100 workers (4% of total), with energy storage jobs up 5% last year.
  • Top 5 counties were: Cook (59,500); DuPage (14,300); Lake (6,800); Will (5,100); and Kane (4.500).
  • Strong 6% jobs growth was expected for 2020 when employers were surveyed in late 2019.

“As Illinois legislators answer Governor Pritzker’s call to transition to cleaner and more economic energy resources, advanced energy technologies present a range of market competitive solutions, including renewables, energy storage, energy efficiency, and electric transportation,” said Bloom.

The 2019 data for the Illinois employment fact sheet was derived from the 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment Report produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in association with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership, as well as data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. Engaged at the federal level and in more than a dozen states around the country, including Illinois, AEE represents more than 100 companies in the $238 billion U.S. advanced energy industry, which employs 3.6 million U.S. workers. Learn more at, track the latest news @AEEnet.

Topics: Press Releases