More California Green Jobs Does Not Necessarily Mean More Total Jobs Yet

California Group Discusses Green Jobs

Earlier this month, the issue of “green” jobs was a particularly important focus on the California Business Roundtable, which is a “non-partisan organization comprised of major employers” throughout California. The Roundtable made a public statement after the Center for Jobs and the Economy disclosed findings from a study on how green jobs can affect the state’s economy. In general, the environment and climate change have been not just an interest of scientists, but have been used as a political football all across the country. According to experts, as the planet’s temperature gradually warms, we have seen a shift in atmospheric temperatures, precipitation, and the climate in general. Yet many do not buy into this, for whatever reason. For those that do, however, humanity’s industrialization and use of technology that affects the atmosphere with greater carbon dioxide emissions and other types of waste that get into our rivers and lands, has altogether had a dramatic effect and has sped up climate change. Thus, for those in both the political and economic arenas, the creation of not just jobs, but “green” jobs, has become a significant initiative. Ideally, we can create more jobs to put people to work and boost our economy, all while stemming the destruction of our environment and planet.

What is a Green Job?

 A “green” job, specifically, is defined by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics as “jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources,” or “jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.” The Center for Jobs and the Economy most recently estimated that only 2% of California jobs are considered “green.” Much of the data collected indicates that some green jobs are also temporary, and have to do with construction or other types of labor, such as installing solar equipment or even consulting on the matter of environment-friendly jobs. Another limitation on any possible growth in green jobs is that this does not translate into a growth in jobs in general because many businesses have changed practices, and job descriptions have changed, which merited a reclassification from non-green to “green” of already-existing jobs.

The Takeaway

The gist of this statement from the California Business Roundtable is that, while the number of green jobs has grown, the number of jobs has not necessarily tracked with that. It remains stable. The state should take pride in the increase in green job, while perhaps continuing to look into policies that can continue to grow environment-friendly jobs that are new jobs to the economy. Businesses should pay attention to this. New policies may lead to laws that benefit businesses for adding green jobs. Advantages may include good will with the people, as well as potential tax savings from taking deductions or credits for “going green” or operating in a more “green” way.