Not only are the number of green jobs in San Diego growing, but they are also withstanding the economic downturn according to a report by Next10, a nonpartisan educational organization that empowers Californians on civic issues. Green jobs grew at an average pace of 4% per year since 1995 compared to a 1.8% average growth in other industries. Even during the current recession the green industry only saw a 1% drop in employment versus the 4.5% drop in San Diego county industries. And, it is not just San Diego County enjoying the success of green business, statewide green jobs declined by only 3% during the recession, while the overall state decline was 7%.
“What’s encouraging about the report is that even in the recession, things did better in the green economy than the overall economy,” explains Doug Henton, chief executive at Collaborative Economics, which produced the report for Next10.
Green economy workers include those in solar, wind, biofuel, conservation consulting, recycling, wastewater processing, and “clean-building” designers. Many jobs in the report were connected to major utilities, but start-ups have grown phenomenally across the state. Still, lack of capital stands as a major hurdle to start-ups, which could limit their potential. Yet, many like Soitech in San Diego, which plans to bring on 450 new employees, are overcoming the odds. With the green job sector growing more than twice as fast as the overall industry average, green definitely has a bright future.