California's Green Economy

Posted by Green Jobs - On May 07, 2010 (EST)

This is the fourth in a series of blogs, which be posted on Fridays over the next few months on the Green Jobs Community of Practice. The series will focus on the definition of green jobs and will highlight green jobs reports from various states. This blog features California.


Bonnie Graybill has been a manager in the California Labor Market Information Division since 1991, currently serving as Deputy Division Chief for Programs and Local Information.  Beginning in Spring 2008, Bonnie and her staff have been studying the green economy.  Bonnie’s career in State government began in 1973, in Employment Development Department’s (EDD) Personnel Office.  In ensuing years, she managed various programs at the State Personnel Board and EDD, including serving as Planning Chief for EDD’s Director. 


California’s LMI staff has been studying the green economy, and recently completed a survey of green jobs and green practices for the state, surveying over 50,000 businesses across the economy—all industries, all geographies and all size classes. Results from the can be viewed in a presentation entitled California's Green Economy.



Our working definition of “green” jobs is:

Green jobs produce (“supply”) goods or services that result in:

  • Generating and storing renewable energy
  • Recycling existing materials
  • Energy efficient product manufacturing, distribution, construction, installation, and maintenance
  • Education, compliance and awareness
  • Natural and sustainable product manufacturing

Preliminary findings from our survey include:

  • Nearly 15,200 employers responded
  • 8.6 percent of employers report employees working on green products and services
  • About 3.8 percent of all workers are working on green products and services
  • About two-thirds of green workers spend more than half time on green aspects of job
  • 63 percent of employers report using at least one green business practice
  • Three-quarters of current green workers were trained on the job
  • About 15 percent of employers in our sample went out of business during this difficult time in our economy

There is a lot of interest in our findings.  We gave a presentation on our preliminary findings on April 7, 2010 that can be viewed here.

We will be publishing a report on our findings in early May, and follow with a series of reports focusing on industry and geographic details.  We are gathering additional information on green occupations and skills in the year to come.

We are happy to hear what other states are doing, and answer questions if we can! 

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Modified On : April 29, 2010
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