Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oregon's Green Manufacturing Sector

Our "Green Jobs Economist" Charlie Johnson recently conducted an analysis of 44 Oregon companies that manufacture green products. These firms range from solar panel manufacturers to producers of organic canned goods.

Employment at these establishments totaled 1,921 in the fourth quarter of 2009, an increase of 55 percent (685 jobs) from the fourth quarter of 2004. Some of the job growth was a result of new firms coming into existence over the five-year time period (293 jobs) but the majority was a result of older firms expanding (392 jobs).

A study of unemployment insurance wage records shows that 2,083 individuals were on the payroll of these green manufacturing companies at some time in the fourth quarter of 2009. The median hourly wage for employees in the green manufacturing sector was $20.87 in the fourth quarter of 2009, slightly lower than the $22.72 median for all companies in the same industries. The median hourly wage for all private employees was $15.70 during the period.

In an attempt to identify the career paths of individuals employed within the renewable energy sector, each individual employed in the sector during the fourth quarter of 2009 was tracked back in time to see where they had previously worked since 2001. Of the 2,056 individuals, 30 percent worked for the same green manufacturing firm for the duration of the period, 9 percent worked in the same industry since the first quarter of 2001 but at a different employer, and 62 percent worked in a different industry.

There is some indication that manufacturers of green products are currently hiring: 30 individuals employed at these firms in the fourth quarter of 2009 had not worked in any other quarter in Oregon since at least 2001.

Check out the full article! It provides many additional, interesting details about the state's green manufacturing sector.

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