According to a new survey from The Solar Foundation, the U.S. solar industry is expanding at a breakneck pace—so quickly that it’s a major driver of the nation’s economy. One out of every 78 new jobs created in the U.S. since 2013 was part of the solar industry—representing 1.3 percent of all new jobs. According to the survey, solar jobs grew 21.8 percent last year, with 36,000 new jobs on the way for 2015.
As of November 2014, solar employment reached a total of 173,807 workers, quickly encroaching on oil and gas extraction, which in the same time period employed 201,000. Last year, solar added nearly 50 percent more jobs (31,000) than oil and gas pipeline construction (10,529) and crude petroleum and natural gas extraction (8,688) combined.