U.S. had 3.1 Million Green Goods and Services Jobs in 2010; 2.4% of Total U.S. Employment

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—March 22, 2012.  In 2010, 3.1 million jobs in the United States were associated with the production of green goods and services, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Green Goods and Services (GGS) jobs are found in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. GGS jobs accounted for 2.4 percent of total employment in 2010. The private sector had 2.3 million GGS jobs and the public sector had 860,300. Manufacturing had 461,800 GGS jobs, the most among any private sector industry. (See table 1.)

Among the states, California had the largest number of GGS jobs (338,400), accounting for 2.3 percent of employment in the state. Vermont had the highest proportion of GGS employment at 4.4 percent; the District of Columbia had the second highest at 3.9 percent. (See table 4.)

The GGS employment data are compiled through the Green Goods and Services survey under the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The GGS survey includes approximately 120,000 business and government establishments within 333 industries that are identified as potentially producing green goods or providing green services. Establishments in the sample report whether they produced green goods and services and the percentage of their revenue or employment associated with that output. Those percentages are multiplied by their employment to derive the number of GGS jobs for the establishment. More information about the survey is provided in the Technical Note.

Private Industry

The private sector had 2,268,800 total GGS jobs in 2010. The manufacturing industry had the greatest number of GGS private jobs (461,800). (See table A.) These jobs were 4.0 percent of manufacturing employment. Examples of green goods and services produced by manufacturing industries include iron and steel from recycled inputs, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment meeting selected standards, hybrid cars and parts, and pollution mitigation equipment.

Construction had 372,100 GGS jobs, comprising 6.8 percent of construction employment. Among the GGS activities performed within this industry are the construction of plants that produce energy from renewable sources and weatherizing and retrofitting projects that reduce household energy consumption.

Professional, scientific, and technical services had 349,000 GGS jobs, accounting for 4.7 percent of the industry’s employment. Industries within professional, scientific, and technical services that have GGS output include engineering and architectural services, computer systems design, and management and consulting services.

Administrative and waste services accounted for 319,900 GGS jobs, 4.3 percent of industry employment. Waste collection and remediation services are examples of GGS services within administrative and waste services.


In private industry, the utilities industry accounted for 65,700 GGS jobs, or 11.9 percent of total private utilities employment. Among the industries involved in private sector electric power generation, nuclear power had the highest GGS employment with 35,800 jobs in 2010. Hydroelectric power generation had 3,700 total private GGS jobs in 2010. (See tables 2 and 3.)

The other electric power generation industry, which includes electricity generated from biomass, sunlight, wind, and other renewable sources, had 4,700 GGS private sector jobs. Within this industry, electricity generated from wind had the highest employment with 2,200 jobs, followed by biomass with 1,100 jobs, geothermal with 600 jobs, and solar with 400 jobs.


The public sector had 860,300 GGS jobs in 2010, or 4.0 percent of public sector employment. Local government had the largest portion of GGS employment in the public sector, with 476,500 GGS jobs representing 3.4 percent of total local government employment. The transportation and warehousing sector, which encompasses mass transit systems, had the largest GGS employment in local government with 228,900 GGS jobs. (See table 2.)

State government had 227,100 GGS jobs accounting for 4.9 percent of state government employment. The public administration sector was the largest industry in state government, having 141,700 GGS jobs in 2010. This industry includes the enforcement of environmental regulations and the administration of environmental programs.

The federal government had 156,700 GGS jobs representing 5.3 percent of federal government employment. As was the case with state government, most GGS jobs in federal government were in the public administration sector, which had 128,300 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes national parks, had the second largest GGS employment in federal government with 13,500 jobs.

Geographic Detail

The states with over 100,000 GGS jobs in 2010 were California (338,400), New York (248,500), Texas (229,700), Pennsylvania (182,200), Illinois (139,800), and Ohio (126,900). (See table 4.)

California had the highest GGS employment in the United States, with 338,400 GGS jobs representing 2.3 percent of the state’s total employment. Construction had the largest number of private sector GGS jobs in California (39,600), followed by administrative and waste services (39,300); professional, scientific, and technical services (39,200); and manufacturing (31,200). (See table 6.)

New York had 248,500 GGS jobs or 3.0 percent of the state’s total employment. In New York, the transportation and warehousing industry had the largest amount of GGS jobs (32,000), followed by construction (21,100), professional, scientific, and technical services (20,600), and administrative and waste services (20,600).

Texas had 229,700 GGS jobs or 2.3 percent of the state’s total employment. Professional, scientific, and technical services had the largest number of GGS jobs in the state (35,800), followed by construction (34,300) and manufacturing (27,400).

Vermont had the highest percentage of GGS total employment of any jurisdiction (4.4 percent). The District of Columbia had the next highest proportion of its employment in GGS jobs (3.9 percent).



The BLS green jobs definition contains two components, an output-based approach and a process-based approach. Output-based jobs are jobs associated with producing goods or providing services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. Process-based jobs are jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

This news release covers the output approach only.  The process approach data will be released later this year.

The output based approach estimates the number of jobs associated with producing green goods or providing green services. The BLS output definition of GGS employment does not include workers from all industries. BLS identified 333 industries from the 1,193 detailed industries in the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) that potentially provide goods and services that directly benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. These 333 industries, the GGS scope, consist of industries that may produce green goods and services within one or more of the following five groups:

  1.  Energy from renewable sources.

  2.  Energy efficiency equipment, appliances, buildings and vehicles, and goods and services that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution.

  3.  Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse goods and services.

  4.  Organic agriculture; sustainable forestry; and soil, water, and wildlife conservation.

  5.  Governmental and regulatory administration; and education, training, and advocacy goods and services.

The GGS scope was identified by BLS after consultations with industry groups, government agencies, stakeholders, and the public, which helped BLS identify industries that potentially provide green goods or services. Not every activity or product in the industries within the GGS scope is considered green. An establishment classified in one of these 333 NAICS industries may produce only green goods, both green and non-green goods, or only non-green goods. Only the employment associated with the production of green goods and services within these selected industries is counted as GGS jobs. BLS recognizes that establishments producing green goods and services may fall outside of the GGS scope, and the associated employment will not be counted in the GGS survey results.

GGS Scope

The GGS scope contained 24,060,000 jobs, or 18.8 percent of the nation’s total employment. Of these jobs, GGS estimates that 3,129,100 jobs, or 2.4 percent of total employment, were related to producing goods and services that met the BLS GGS definition. (For more information regarding the GGS definition and methodology, please see the Technical Note.)

Data Presentation

Data includes GGS employment, GGS employment percentage, and total QCEW employment by industry and state. The total employment levels are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). The QCEW includes all businesses with employees covered by state or federal unemployment insurance, which is approximately 95.3 percent of civilian wage and salary employment in the U.S.

For More Information

The tables and charts included in this release contain data for the nation and for the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Data for 2010 green employment levels and percents for all states are provided in tables 4, 5, and 6 of this release.

For additional information about the Green Goods and Services data, please read the Technical Note. Further information about the GGS data may be obtained by calling (202) 691-5185 or by accessing the GGS website at www.bls.gov/ggs.

Source: bls.gov