Ten States Where Green Jobs Thrive

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5. Montana
> Green jobs as percentage of total: 3.5%
> Green jobs in private sector as percentage of total: 2.4%
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Montana has among the largest share of green jobs in the public sector. The state has a particularly large amount of public lands, such as state parks, which allow for a large amount of jobs in solar PV, or photovoltaic systems, and hydropower. The largest clean economy sector, however, is conservation. Two of the state’s largest employers are the National Park Service and Forest Service.

Also Read: America’s Most Corrupt States

4. Maryland
> Green jobs as percentage of total: 3.6%
> Green jobs in private sector as percentage of total: 2.8%
> Unemployment rate: 6.5%

Clean economy job growth in Maryland has largely mirrored that of the U.S. between 2003 and 2010. Waste management and treatment and conservation are the state’s largest green sectors. The fastest growing segment is solar energy, which has had a job growth rate of nearly 64% from 2003 to 2010. Some of the state’s major clean economy employers are environmental services companies Century Engineering, Kci Holdings and Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson.

3. Alaska
> Green jobs as percentage of total: 3.6%
> Green jobs in private sector as percentage of total: 2.8%
> Unemployment rate: 7.2%

More than 89% of Alaska is owned by federal and state governments. Not only does the state’s clean economy account for a particularly large share of total employment, but its job growth rate from 2003 to 2010 has been significantly greater than the national average. The largest segment in the state’s green economy is by far conservation, as it employs more than five times the people as the second-largest segment. Major employers include the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Also Read: America’s Least Corrupt States

2. Idaho
> Green jobs as percentage of total: 3.7%
> Green jobs in private sector as percentage of total: 2.8%
> Unemployment rate: 8.1%

Idaho is another state with a large amount of land — nearly 67% — owned by either the state or federal government. The largest segment of the state’s clean economy is conservation, followed by the production of energy-saving building materials and hydropower. A few of the state’s major green companies are Boise Cascade, Power Engineers and Windsor Window.

1. Vermont
> Green jobs as percentage of total: 4.4%
> Green jobs in private sector as percentage of total: 3.9%
> Unemployment rate: 5.0%

Vermont is the country’s largest center for green job employment relative to its entire workforce by a substantial margin. Additionally, of the nearly 13,000 green jobs in the state, more than 9,000 are in the private sector. The state’s primary sectors of employment are organic food production and farming and, to a lesser extent, green building materials. It is not clear whether Vermont will maintain its position as the nation’s green leader. Job growth in the clean economy has increased at a slower rate than the national level between 2003 and 2010.

Charles B. Stockdale

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