1Center for American Progress | Growing Green Jobs in America’s Urban Centers
Growing Green Jobs in America’sUrban Centers
Jorge Madrid and Brennan AlvarezSeptember 2011
While leaders in Washingon, D.C., search or ways o creae jobs andkick-sar our sruggling economy, urban ceners are experiencing seady growh in he green economy, which is creaing well-paid jobs in commu-niies ha have el he wors o he recession, paricularly hose wih largenumbers o Arican Americans and Lainos. Tese urban ceners are idealor growing a srong and equiable driver o new business and jobs.Te Grea Recession has no impaced all Americans equally. While coun-less amilies across all communiies are suering, daa indicae ha black and Laino households—concenraed in America’s urban ceners—haveel he wors o he economic malaise. In many cases, hese communiieslack he wealh and educaional asses o hedge agains economic decline.Green jobs are no magic bulle or solving economic dispariy and jobloss in urban communiies bu hey do oer real opporuniy o rebuildour sruggling economy wih a srong growh segmen. Green job growhhas oupaced radiional job growh a a rae o nearly 2-o-1 in henaion’s 100 larges meropolian ceners, all during he peak o he reces-sion (2008 hrough 2010), according o a new reporby he BrookingsInsiue. Tese urban ceners are he vanguard o green jobs growh,accouning or 64 percen o all jobs in ha secor.Individuals wihou a college degree hold a large porion o hese jobs, which also pay a higher median wage han average. Tis is criical becausehese workers currenly make up nearly 70 percen o he American work-orce and have radiionally been he anchor o our middle class.Similar daa are drawn rom a 2010sudy rom Apollo Alliance, heIniiaive or a Compeiive Ciy, and Green or All, which nds ha inner-ciy green jobs have grown by 11 percen, more han 10 imes he rae o
The green economy is a sector o thebroader economy producing goods andservices that provide environmentalbenet. This can include clean energyproduction, energy and water ecientdesign and construction, mass transit,conservation, waste management, andnumerous other industries that are parto a general shit in the way we use andproduce energy and eliminate waste.Green jobs include workers in nearlyevery industry who are part o the shitaway rom dirty energy and toward amore sustainable economy. “Green collar” jobs are generally reerenced as paying aliving wage and accessible across a broadrange o skill levels, similar to traditional“blue collar” jobs. The Brookings Institutedenes “green collar” jobs as paying amid-level wage and including the ollow-ing occupational categories: production,transportation, installation, construction,oce administration and support, pro-tective services, and social services.
Defining green jobs andthe green economy