Annual Energy Department report finds slight recovery in energy industry jobs

Annual Energy Department report finds slight recovery in energy industry jobs
© Greg Nash

The U.S. Department of Energy found an overall drop in jobs within the energy industry in 2020 but a slight increase in some renewable energy jobs, which it said is attributed to investments in those sectors.

Amid the economic contractions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, 839,000 jobs were lost in the energy sector in 2020, according to the Department’s U.S. Energy Employment Report, released Monday. This included a 9.8 percent decline in traditional energy sectors, an 11.4 percent decline in the energy-efficiency sector and a 9 percent decline in motor vehicle jobs.

In the report, the department said the energy sector had seen job increases above that of the economy at large before the pandemic, with a 3 percent annual growth rate from 2015-2019 compared to the general increase of 1.5 percent.

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However, the report also found job increases in some renewable energy sectors, including an 8 percent increase in electric vehicles, a 1 percent increase in battery storage, a 6 percent increase in hybrid electric vehicle jobs and a 2 percent increase in wind generation jobs.

The report also states that energy job growth was back on the upswing by year’s end. At the peak of the pandemic in 2020, energy jobs had fallen by 1.4 million, but 520,000 had returned by the end of the year, according to the department.

“Although we are still grappling with the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is turning a corner and a strong energy workforce is critical to our full recovery,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon| House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Granholm announces new building energy codes Granholm announces new building energy codes Annual Energy Department report finds slight recovery in energy industry jobs MORE said in a statement Monday. “The U.S. Energy Employment Report provides us with the best available data into the energy sector and we are proud to have DOE’s experts once again produce this crucial analysis. As the report shows, energy employment is on the rebound, and with the robust investments in President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE’s Build Back Better agenda we are set to supercharge the energy job market.”