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Few Green Jobs in Bay Area, Report Reveals

A rooftop solar installation
//yeti-cir-test.s3.amazonaws.com/uploaded/images/2010/10/solar-panels/original/solar panels.jpg
A rooftop solar installation

A rooftop solar installation
Getty Images
A rooftop solar installation
Getty Images

The Bay Area had about 54,000 green jobs in 2010, just two percent of all jobs in the region.

That according to a new report released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Brookings Institution titled "Sizing the Clean Economy: A National and Regional Clean Jobs Assessment."

Nationally, there are about 2.7 million green jobs, Brookings said. The think tank counted not only new clean tech industries like solar power and green building construction, but also public sector workers employed in fields like mass transit and recycling.

In terms of sheer numbers, California lead the nation in green jobs with about 320,000 -- a finding that was cheered by Gov. Jerry Brown, who tweeted "California leads the nation in green jobs. Let’s keep the momentum going" and linked to an LA Times article about the report.

While the report found California to be first with the highest total number of green jobs, the Golden State was actually ranked fourteenth in terms of green jobs as a share of overall employment -- behind Alaska, Oregon, DC, Montana, Vermont, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, Idaho, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Jersey, and Colorado.

The Bay Area, which fancies itself as a national capital of the green economy, ranked 17th in terms of green jobs as a share of overall employment. Albany, NY was first, followed by Knoxville, TN, Sacramento, Harrisburg, PA, and Toledo, OH.

While the overall U.S. economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annual rate between 2003 and 2010, the national clean economy grew by 3.4 percent, according to Brookings.

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