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The number of jobs in the U.S.' emerging clean energy economy grew nearly two-and-a-half times faster than overall jobs between 1998 and 2007, according to a report by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew conducted a count across all 50 states of the actual jobs, companies and venture capital investments that supply the growing market demand for environmentally friendly products and services.

Pew found that jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1%, while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7% between 1998 and 2007. There was a similar pattern on the state level, where job growth in the clean energy economy outperformed overall job growth in 38 states and the District of Columbia during the same period. The report also found that this promising sector is poised to expand significantly, driven by increasing consumer demand, venture capital infusions, and federal and state policy reforms.

The clean energy economy has grown in the U.S., despite a lack of sustained government support in the past decade. By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for about 770,000 jobs.

By comparison, the well-established fossil-fuel sector - including utilities and coal mining and oil and gas extraction industries that have received significant government investment - comprised about 1.27 million workers in 2007.

"The clean energy economy is poised for explosive growth," says Lori Grange, interim deputy director of the Pew Center on the States. "These jobs are driving economic growth and environmental sustainability at a time when America needs both. There is a potential competitive advantage for federal and state policy leaders who act now to spur jobs, businesses and investments in the clean energy sector."

The report finds that the emerging clean energy economy is creating well-paying jobs in every state for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. Included in Pew's definition are jobs as diverse as engineers, plumbers, administrative assistants, construction workers, machine setters, marketing consultants, teachers and many others, with annual incomes ranging from $21,000 to $111,000.

For more information, visit pewcenteronthestates.org.

SOURCE: The Pew Charitable Trusts

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