Cleveland Ranked 18th Nationally for Green Jobs

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Greater Cleveland is an immovable force when it comes to nudging the unemployment meter. But we’re making headway in the realm of those coveted “green” jobs they talk about on NPR.

The Cleveland Metro area ranks 18th out of 100 U.S. cities in green-job generation, according to a recent report from the Brookings Institute, a group traditionally associated with studies that compare us unfavorably to cholera-stricken villages.

Since 2003, we’ve added 6,440 green jobs, with an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent. Since the recession started in 2008, the number of green jobs here has grown more than the national average. Was there perhaps something to that green economy federal stimulus?

“It seems that the timing of the uptick in growth coincided with an increase in federal spending,” says Jonathan Rothwell, a Brookings senior research analyst. “On the other hand, many of these segments were growing rapidly before the recession.”

The segments he speaks of include solar and wind manufacturing, recycling and recycled products, green architecture and construction, green chemical production, and public mass transit. Examples of companies here dabbling in these fast-growing areas are BASF Catalysts, General Electric, Graftech International, Sherwin Williams, and Tremco. Applying to all of them would be a good idea.

Another interesting tidbit from the report: Workers in the new green jobs make an average of $39,213 a year, while the rest of the gainfully employed pull in only $37,115. Bonus round: Three out of every four green jobs here are held by folks with no more than a high school diploma, providing compelling new evidence that green jobs are a stupid idea. — Anastasia Pantsios

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