The full impact of COVID-19 on Oregon solar jobs is not yet known. Nationally, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is projecting that the U.S. solar industry could lose up to half of its workforce.
The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census provides an annual measurement of solar jobs. In 2019, the Solar Foundation counted nearly 250,000 Americans working in solar across the nation. This represents a 2.3 percent increase, or about 5,600 more jobs over 2018.
Nationally, the solar workforce has increased by 168 percent over the past seven years, from about 93,000 jobs in 2010 when the first Solar Jobs Census was published to over 249,983 jobs in 2019.
Most of the solar job gains in 2019 were in installation and project development, which added about 7,000 jobs. Overall, this industry sector employs 162,126 solar workers (nearly two-thirds of the 249,983 total), and about 16,000 of these workers focus on battery storage. The solar manufacturing sector grew by just under 700 jobs to 34,423 total.
Oregon had 3,750 solar workers in 2019, an increase of 2.6 percent or 96 jobs over 2018. The majority of Oregon’s solar workers work in installation or manufacturing.