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Report: Clean energy employs over half million in US Midwest

Nearly 569,000 people work in clean energy throughout the US Midwest, according to an analysis released by Chicago-based Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

Clean energy jobs throughout the region are expected to grow by more than 4% over the next year, with the possibility for even more growth with the right policies in place, the report says.

The analysis is based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics data and a comprehensive survey of thousands of businesses across the region conducted by BW Research Partners.

The Clean Jobs Midwest report provides detailed breakdowns of clean energy jobs not available previously – including job totals for every county, congressional district, and state legislative district in the 12-state Midwestern region of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“Clean energy is a dynamic sector and central to economic growth in the Midwest,” said Erik Birkerts, CEO at CET.

“Smart public policy will further accelerate the clean energy sector's growth, which means thousands of new jobs created across the region,” Birkerts continued.

The report found that nearly 70,000 people work in clean, renewable energy and more than 64,000 Midwesterners work in advanced transportation, with another 7,000 employed in the clean fuels industry.

Over the next year, about 25,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the Midwest’s clean energy sector, with the states of Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan as the top three for clean energy jobs.

More than three-quarters of clean energy workers are employed by firms with less than 50 employees.

“The Midwest is a central hub of America’s clean energy jobs market. Other regions may attract more attention, but there’s no doubt the Midwest is a force in its own right,” said Philip Jordan, VP and principal at BW Research Partnership.

“In a short amount of time, clean energy has become a huge part of the Midwest’s workforce and economy,” said Bob Keefe, E2’s executive director.

“Smart policies helped jump-start this industry, and smart policies will keep these made-in-America jobs growing – and help our environment along the way.”