For people looking to put their finances in the black, a new report suggests they may be wise to look green.
That's according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down employment in green goods and services through 2011. As first pointed out by the LA Times, the report shows "green jobs" growing from 2010 through 2011 at a rate 4 times faster than all other industries combined.
The BLS defines green jobs as those that produce goods or services "that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources," or jobs "in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources."
As of 2011, green jobs accounted for 2.6 percent of all jobs in the economy, for a total just north of 3.4 million jobs. Construction led the charge in the private sector, with an employment increase from 7.0 to 8.9 percent (slightly more than 100,000 jobs) between 2010 and 2011.
Green goods and services jobs in the federal government increased by 4,596 jobs, or 0.5 percent, while green jobs in state and local governments both declined slightly.
Due to budget cuts incurred as a part of the sequestration, the BLS has been forced to discontinue its reporting on employment in green goods and services. "In order to help achieve these savings and protect core programs, the BLS will eliminate two programs and all 'measuring green jobs' products," reads a note at the introduction of this latest report.
“It’s a huge loss,” Bracken Hendricks, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, told Business Week of the BLS cutting its reporting on green jobs. “This means the U.S. will be flying blind on the growth of a very, very important sector in the U.S. economy.”