The Green Jobs? They're Out There With the Green Shoots

What can $60 billion buy these days? Fast Company checks up on the Obama Administration's "green economy" initiative to see how many shovel-ready green-collar jobs have been saved or created in the days since renewable industry got its sustainable beer at the White House:

Many wind and solar companies have cut back on employees as the economic climate has eaten away at bottom lines, and a disconnect between state and federal officials regarding the best way to spur green job development creates bureaucratic obstacles to getting stimulus cash into the right hands.

But the funding is coming. Last week Obama announced $2.4 billion in grants to be distributed to various companies developing electric vehicles and more efficient battery technologies. Energy Secretary Steven Chu last week said $3 billion in renewable energy grants will boost green employment, and that while it's taking some time to review grant proposals, more federal dollars for green jobs are in queue.

So, as Martin asked Lewis, ya workin'?

Employment in the green economy is limited to just one-half of 1% of all U.S. jobs, and while that number was climbing last summer, the economic downturn put a damper on many green initiatives. The freezing of credit markets and a plunge in fossil fuel prices undermined the funding for many planned green energy projects while at the same time robbing them of their urgency.

Half a percent is more than I would have expected. It's also more than Green Energy Czar Van Jones estimated in a recent "where have all the green jobs gone" interview with Newsweek:

Well, we still don't have a unified definition, and that's not unusual in a democracy. It takes a while for all the states and the federal government to come to some agreement. But the Department of Labor is working on it very diligently. Fundamentally, it's getting there, but we haven't crossed the finish line yet.

Given Jones' background it's probably an improvement that he now blames democracy for failure instead of blaming capitalism. Once that unified definition comes out, installing freon in the air conditioner of a leaded-gas Escalade made entirely of depleted uranium will count as a green job. But by then there won't be any of those jobs either.

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  • Ben Kenobi||

    Gotta get that definition down! They got the boys in the office working double time on this one.

  • Rich||

    And the ten *worst* green jobs are ... ?

    How about putting 100,000 new litter-picker-uppers on the streets? 8-(

  • ||

    Once that unified definition comes out, installing freon in the air conditioner of a leaded-gas Escalade made entirely of depleted uranium will count as a green job. But by then there won't be any of those jobs either.

    I didn't know there were jobs doing that now...

  • ||

    And the ten *worst* green jobs are ... ?

    I don't know all ten, but #2 has to be "green crack whore".

    And #1 is "assistant green crack whore".

  • Lowdog||

    Wow, and people say that accusations of socialistic tendencies in this administration are completely unfounded.

  • ||

    if it's green jobs we want, then start handing out shovels and put the CAT bulldozer in the garage...surely that'll employ more folks

  • Michael||

    Half a percent is more than I would have expected.

    I did a double take at that figure as well. My guess is that the figure is somewhat fudged by taking into account occupations like LEED certified engineers and architects; full time jobs that are only "green" in practice part of the time or even at all.

  • Five miiiiilion jobs||

    I exist, I am real, and I would not have existed if the other guy had won. I can't be outsourced. How dare you people talk shit about me?

  • Looie Dobbs||

    Five miiiiilion jobs>

    i thought it was pronounced jerbs

  • ||

    a leaded-gas Escalade made entirely of depleted uranium

    I can buy this where now?

  • hmm||

    Forestry aren't that good looking. Most of the tards that do forest studies they are talking about are environmental tards and not foresters. The forestry guys are busy running around the woods, or swinging in canopies.

    Urban forestry will have an interesting nitche. Not a lot of schools for that as well.

  • hmm||

    Marc | August 12, 2009, 9:05pm | #
    a leaded-gas Escalade made entirely of depleted uranium

    I can buy this where now?



    I'm just wondering about the depleted uranium part.

    You do realize those words combine probably put everyone's here IP on every list out there.

  • Tricky Prickears ||

    Here's solar jobs in Phila area.

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/search/trd?query=solar&catAbbreviation=jjj

    Don't know how many are a direct result of Obama Administration's "green economy" initiative. But the jobs are across the board, from installers to accountants.

    I think I'd rather like see a 5 year tax deferment on these start-ups than anything else. Throwing money at something, and providing initiative are two different things.

  • mark||

    Throwing money at something, and providing initiative are two different things.

    Sounds like the same thing to me.

  • tax jobs||

    your post is very helpful and informative

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