US solar jobs down 3.2% in 2018 but 2019 could be better

By February 13, 2019Industry News

The number of solar jobs in the US arrived at 242,343 in 2018, declining for the second year in a row, but still significantly up from 2015 when the total was 208,859, shows the National Solar Jobs Census 2018.

JobsCensus graphic. Source: www.thesolarfoundation.org

A year-on-year jobs decrease of 3.2% has been recorded by The Solar Foundation, which explains that the uncertainty surrounding pending tariffs on photovoltaic (PV) module and cell imports, which led to project delays in late 2017, had a significant impact nationwide.

At the state level, several major solar markets experienced job delines in 2018, such as California, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, because of policy challenges and a difficult business climate. Still, solar job numbers grew in 29 states last year. The most significant increases were in Florida, Illinois, Texas, and New York.

The Solar Foundation said respondents to its survey expect a 7% increase in 2019 to around 259,400 jobs, but it warned that such predictions may not come true. In the previous Census, the solar industry expected a 5.2% increase in 2018.

When Puerto Rico jobs are added to the calculation, the 2018 total reaches 244,340.

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