Top 6 Takeaways from the 2022 Clean Jobs Midwest Report

October 17, 2022
In 2021, nearly 58,000 Minnesotans worked in energy efficiency and clean energy, making the industry a major and promising part of the state’s economy. This report comes after Congress and the Biden administration passed the largest investment in climate and clean energy in history which are set to boost clean energy jobs and businesses across the state. Here are the major takeaways you need to know from the report.

2. Renewable generation jobs grew at a rate of nearly 9% last year.

With a nine percent growth rate, Minnesota’s renewable generation’s job sector was the second-fastest growing sector across the Midwest. Workers who are employed in industries that generate power from wind, solar, bioenergy, geothermal and low-impact hydro technologies are considered renewable generation workers. In fact, jobs in the solar sub-sector also had an impressive year – growing 9.7 percent to 4,873 workers.

Job data by sector CJM 2022

3. Advanced transportation jobs grew by a whopping 23% last year!

Learn more about these workers

Advanced transportation in Minnesota was the Midwest’s fastest growing sector. Minnesotans employed in hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles and hydrogen and fuel-cell vehicles make up this sector, which now employs nearly 4,000 Minnesotans.

4. 85% of employers said it was difficult to hire in 2021.

One of the biggest ongoing challenges of the clean energy transition is training a new workforce to sustain the industry. There are many excellent programs across the state working on this issue. Some factors that are impacting energy efficiency and clean energy businesses in Minnesota are Minnesota’s historic low unemployment rate – which was 1.9% in August of this year. The labor force participation rate in Minnesota is 64% – this rate has dropped over the last years and as of January 2022, the state has about 100,000 fewer workers in the labor force than it did before the pandemic began. In addition to slowing population growth, a myriad of other factors are also influencing labor force participation, including child care availability, fear of COVID-19, long-term illness, and more retirements during the pandemic.

clean energy worker installing solar panels

6. Our vision is for Minnesota to have 100,000 clean energy jobs by 2030.

Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have created historic opportunities for clean energy investment. With this funding, Minnesota needs to target funds at developing the workforce to accomplish these ambitious clean energy goals. Minnesota agencies like the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and the Energy Transition Office are working on these plans now and need further investment. CEEM recognizes the vast market opportunity in clean energy as well as the workforce challenges. We are engaging with our member businesses and community partners to chart workforce development pathways.

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