Many Shades of Green: Diversity and Distribution of California's Green Jobs

This report from Next 10 tracks the growth of green jobs in the Golden State over the last 14 years, and finds big growth and regional hotspots for different types of environmentally oriented careers.

With an annual increase of 2.4 percent per year, jobs in a wide number of green areas have far outpaced employment rates in other industries. The research found some regions of the state fared better than others, and each region developed a niche market for different green jobs. The Sacramento area was the clear leader in job growth, with an 87 percent improvement since 1995; San Diego found a 57 percent growth in green jobs in that timeframe, and the San Francisco Bay Area and the Orange County / Inland Empire region grew by 51 and 50 percent, respectively.

Sacramento was a hotspot for jobs in biomass energy generation, while the Bay Area led in energy research and consulting jobs; the San Diego region ranked highly in a number of areas, but was the overall leader in jobs in co-generation technologies.

Among the highlights of California's Core Green Economy:

• Between 1995-2008, green businesses increased 45 percent, green jobs grew 36 percent while total jobs in the state grew only 13 percent.
• Even in rural areas with a smaller economic base, green jobs are growing faster than the overall economy.
• Between 2007-2008, green jobs grew 5 percent while total jobs dropped one percent.
• Manufacturing represents 21 percent of all green jobs, and grew 19 percent, while manufacturing represents only 11 percent of all jobs in California (January 2008.)
• Half of all manufacturing jobs are split between Energy Efficiency and Energy Generation.
• Services accounted for 45 percent of all California green jobs, the largest portion in Environmental Consulting.
• With nearly 43,000 jobs in 2008, Air & Environment is the largest of California's green segments. While this segment's jobs remained steady, hovering around 35,000 from 1995-2005, since 2005 the number of green jobs in this segment has increased 24 percent.
• From 1995-2008, Energy Generation employment expanded 61 percent by nearly 10,000 jobs. Solar makes up the largest portion, and strongest growth (63 percent).
• Employment in Energy Efficiency increased 63 percent from 1995-2008.
• Employment in Green Transportation has increased 152 percent since 1995. Green Transportation Jobs are primarily in Motor Vehicles & Equipment and Alternative Fuels, with the latter growing faster at 201 percent, and representing 48 percent of all jobs in this segment.
• Green Logistics is an emerging field, only in the Bay Area at present, with employment growing by 1144 percent since 1995.

More details about the report are available at