Calif. Green Jobs Handled Recession Better than Conventional Jobs

During one year in the recent recession, green segments of California retained a higher percentage of jobs than the state's total economy.

From January 2009 to January 2010, the state's overall economy lost 7 percent of jobs while the "Core Green Economy" lost 3 percent, according to the latest "Many Shades of Green" report from research group Next 10.

While previous versions of the report looked at how green job growth outpaced overall job growth, the 2012 version centers on how few green jobs were lost compared to other jobs.

Next 10 defines the Core Green Economy as business that provide products and services that provide alternatives to carbon-based energy sources, conserve energy and natural resources, reduce pollution and repurpose waste.

That includes the likes of renewable energy, recycling services, advanced batteries, water treatment, green marketing, bioplastics and all types of consulting services, to name just a few.

Adding to previous research on long-term job figures, Next 10 found that from 1995-2010, employment in the overall economy grew 12 percent, outpaced by the Core Green Economy's 53 percent growth.

Added up, those long-term increases and short-term losses set total state employment back to 2001 levels, but put the Core Green Economy at 2008 levels.

In looking at 15 green industry segments, Next 10 found that a few saw job gains from 2009-2010. Energy infrastructure jobs grew by 14 percent, advanced materials by 4 percent, and clean transportation and energy generation each saw 1 percent bumps.

Along with detailed looks at job figures and fluctuations in individual industries, the report breaks down California into 11 regions, showing job figures for green segments and detailed figures for types of jobs within segments key to each area.

The Bay Area, Sacramento and San Diego regions each saw job losses of less than 2 percent from 2009-2010 in the Core Green Economy, and have all seen large jumps in job growth since 1995: 113 percent in Sacramento, 76 percent in the Bay Area and 65 percent in San Diego.