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Green businesses grow 45% from 1995 to 2008 in California, report finds

December 8, 2009 | 10:01 pm

A new report suggests that green business is good in the Golden State, with the number of companies up 45%.

The data will officially be released tomorrow by Next 10 and Collaborative Economics, both based in Northern California. Among the big news is that while total jobs grew just 13% in the state from 1995 to 2008, green employment jumped 36%.

And even during the slow economy from 2007 to 2008, green jobs inched up 5% while overall employment fell 1%.

Service-related positions made up 45% of all green jobs in California, with the largest portion in environmental consulting. Manufacturing jobs took up another 21%, half of them in energy efficiency and the other half in energy generation.

Employment in energy generation expanded by nearly 10,000 jobs -- or 61% -- from 1995 to 2008, with solar representing the largest portion and the strongest growth.

Energy-efficiency jobs increased 63% since 1995, while positions in green transportation boomed 152%.

Highlights from Southern California include:

  • 40,000 total green jobs from 1995 to 2008 in the Los Angeles area, including Ventura County
  • 18,000 green jobs in Orange County in 2008
  • In the Los Angeles area, energy-generation jobs grew 35%, energy-efficiency positions leaped 77% and green-transportation posts rose 29%
  • In Orange County, green-transportation jobs, including in alternative fuels and motor vehicles, shot up an astounding 1,875%. Energy-generation positions grew 176% and energy-efficiency posts increased 78%.

-- Tiffany Hsu