New U.S. Energy and jobs report shows growth, less diverse workforce

Freddie Allen (Editor-in-Chief, NNPA Newswire and BlackPressUSA.com) | 5/23/2018, 11:24 a.m.
Energy jobs are growing faster than the national average and energy-related sectors are less diverse than the national workforce, according ...
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Energy jobs are growing faster than the national average and energy-related sectors are less diverse than the national workforce, according to the 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER).

“The nation’s energy sector employed 6.5 million Americans in 2017, up 133,000 jobs from the year prior,” a press release about the report noted. “This two percent growth rate exceeded the national average of 1.7 percent. Jobs in the energy sectors accounted for nearly 7 percent of all new jobs nationwide in 2017.”

National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) released the report last week. NASEO is the only national non-profit association for the governor-designated energy officials from each of the 56 states and territories, according to the group’s website. EFI provides policymakers, industry leaders, NGOs with data driven, unbiased policy recommendations, “to advance a cleaner, safer, more affordable and more secure energy future.”

The report said that the companies surveyed anticipate roughly 6.2 percent employment growth for 2018.

Despite the positive growth trends, ethnic and racial minorities account for a smaller share of the workforce in the energy-related sectors than their corresponding national averages, the report said. Hispanic or Latino workers account for 10-19 percent of the labor force in energy-related sectors, compared to 17 percent in the overall economy. Black workers hold 5-9 percent of the jobs in energy-related sectors and account for 12 percent of the national workforce.

The USEER examines four sectors of the energy economy: Electric Power Generation and Fuels; Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles.

According to the report, Electric Power Generation covers all utility and non-utility employment across electric generating technologies including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewable energy technologies.

“Energy Efficiency employers project the highest growth rate over 2018 (9 percent), followed by Electric Power Generation (8 percent); Motor Vehicles (almost 7 percent, including a 6 percent increase in manufacturing), Transmission, Distribution, and Storage (3 percent), and the Fuels sector (2 percent),” the report said.

According to the report, Electric Power Generation covers all utility and non-utility employment across electric generating technologies including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewable energy technologies. Employment totals for any firms engaged in facility construction, turbine and other generation equipment manufacturing, as well as wholesale parts distribution of all electric generation technologies are also included in that metric, the report said.

The Electric Power Generation sector included 883,842 jobs in 2017, up nearly 2 percent from the previous year’s 867,434 workers, and employers report a projected 8 percent growth over 2018, the report said.

Blacks account for 9 percent of the electric power generation workforce (76,985) compared to White workers who hold 70 percent of the electric power generation jobs (615,696).

Fuels employment includes all work related to fuel extraction and mining, including petroleum refineries and firms that support coal mining, oil, and gas field machinery manufacturing, the report said. The Fuels sector employed 1,074,935 workers in 2017, compared to the previous year’s level of over 1,081,000 jobs, according to the report.