Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oregon's Energy Transmission Sector

Firms included in the energy transmission sector were identified as owning, operating, or being responsible for the maintenance of energy transmission systems, or being involved in the research and development of smart grid technology. The combined list of firms involved in the energy transmission sector includes 44 of Oregon's public- and private-sector entities.

Employment Trends
The vast majority of employment in the sector is in the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution industry, while a smaller portion is found in management of companies industries.

Four-fifths of workers in the energy efficiency sector are employed at firms with 100 employees or more (Table 1). The distribution of jobs by company size class within the green transportation sector is sharply skewed toward large establishments compared with all jobs in Oregon’s economy.

Wage Trends
Compared with total employment in Oregon, a larger share of employees working in the energy transmission sector earned high wages (Graph 1). Within energy transmission sector, roughly 70 percent of employees earned at least $30 per hour, compared with 22 percent for all employees. The median hourly wage for the energy transmission sector was $38.81 during the fourth quarter of 2009 while the median wage for all employees was $16.84.

Recessionary Impacts?
Employment in the energy transmission sector outperformed similar industries and the economy as a whole during the five-year period from the fourth quarter of 2004 to the fourth quarter of 2009. The sector experienced minor declines in employment over the one-year period ending in the fourth quarter of 2009, while simultaneously enjoying wage increases. This indicates that the sector is relatively stable compared to other industries. It was likely less affected by the recent recession.

More details on this sector are available in the full version of the article.

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