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US Green Job Growth Amidst Struggling Economy - 10 cities that are leading the way

Green Job Growth

The Huffington Post and 24/7 Wall Street released articles today naming 10 US cities with the largest green job growth.  The statistics are based on a non-partisan Brookings Institute study.

While the overall US economy has struggled, green businesses added 565,337 new jobs in between 2003 and 2010. The median salary for a green job is almost always higher than that of a non-green job and many of these jobs are in the manufacturing sector, creating job growth in some older cities known for manufacturing that have been hit hard by the recent economy. The report also states that “on a per job basis, establishments in the clean economy export roughly twice the value of a typical U.S. job ($20,000 versus $10,000).“

Knoxville, Tennessee: In 2009, Knoxville added 16,135 green jobs, placing the currently unemployment rate for the city at 7.7% - that's a full two percentage points lower than the statewide unemployment rate and 18.% lower than the unemployment peak in 2009.  1 out of every 20 jobs in Knoxville are considered "green." Most of these jobs are from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, an innovative technology company that focuses on solar and other technologies.

Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina: The Raleigh-Cary unemployment rate has dropped from 9.8% to 7.9% since early 2010, adding 16,677 green jobs in the year 2010 alone. The majority of these jobs are in the public sector, with the hope that green private sector green tech jobs will follow suit.

Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa: Des Moines green jobs are growing at a rate of 11.4% per year.  Des Moines has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, in part due to the growth of green-sector jobs.  The region has been able to experiment with different job-promoting strategies due to its low unemployment.

Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Arkansas: The green economy in the Little Rock area is increasing by 10.5% annually.  In 2010 this region added 11,933 green jobs, mostly in the wind energy industry and green manufacturing sector. 

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York: Albany holds over 28,000 green jobs, with 6.8% of all jobs in the city being the green sector.  That is the largest percentage of green jobs in the nation. This growth is largely attributed to GE technology center and government programs.

Ogden-Clearfield, Utah: The Ogden-Clearfield area is adding jobs in the green sector at the rate of 8.6% - that's 2,111 new jobs in 2010 alone.

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: Added 2,203 green-collar jobs in 2010. While the unemployment rate is still higher the nation average at 11.4%, the growth of the green economy is expected to help this number drop steadily over the next several years. 

Tulsa, Oklahoma: Tulsa's une,plyment rate has dropped from 8% to 6.4 since January 2010, thank in part to 7,130 green jobs.

Toledo, Ohio: Toledo has been struggling as the automotive industry has shrunk over the past several decade. From July 2010 to July 2011 they added 11,831 green-sector jobs in the year 2010, decreasing unemployment from 13.4% to 9.3% in about 18 months.

Albuquerque, New Mexico: Albuquerque has added 9,912 green-sector jobs in the year 2010, decreasing unemployment from 9.4% to 6.8% in less than a year. This increase has been in both green tech and green manufacturing.