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Houston Chronicle ($):

The U.S. energy industry added 300,000 jobs last year, driven largely by growth in clean energy technology as the oil and gas sector faltered, according to a new report from the Department of Energy.

The solar industry added more than 17,000 jobs, a 5.4 percent jump.  Jobs producing electric and hybrid vehicles and parts increased 25 percent, with more than 45,000 new jobs. Meanwhile the oil and gas industry lost more than 31,000 jobs, a 6.4 percent decline.

Even with the decline in oil jobs,Texas added more than 30,000 energy jobs last year, the most of any state except Michigan, with its large automobile manufacturing sector.

"Energy jobs are growing faster than the economy as a whole, notably jobs in renewables like solar and wind," said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. "The jobs are growing in industries we need to support a 100 percent clean power sector."

Driving last year's oil sector job losses was continued low crude prices coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. But with public health restrictions now loosened and economies clamoring for oil, crude prices are up more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year, with the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate trading for almost $110 per barrel Monday.

[James Osborne]

More: Clean energy outpacing oil sector in hiring

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