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Mass. clean energy jobs clipped during pandemic

  • Apr 2, 2021
The Milford Daily News

BOSTON — Viewed by state officials as a growth industry, the clean energy sector boosted its job base by less than 2% in 2019 before getting clobbered in 2020 with the net loss of about 13,900 workers.

This week, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center released its annual industry report, which found the sector added 2,132 jobs in 2019, and employed nearly 114,000 workers in Massachusetts through the end of 2019, an increase of 89% since 2010.

The pandemic job losses, including the loss of 6,700 installation jobs and 4,200 business services jobs, were calculated from last March through September.

"While the industry added jobs over the summer, the modest pace of those gains points to a slower-than-hoped-for rebound," wrote Stephen Pike, the center's director. "But rest assured, the industry will rebound."

The sector stands to benefit from Gov. Charlie Baker's signing last week of a state law committing Massachusetts to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said in a statement that "aggressive policies" leave the sector poised for growth.

"While the COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on many industries in the commonwealth and across the country, Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in advancing the clean energy economy, and we are confident this robust sector of the state's economy will continue to grow in the years ahead," Theoharides said.

The report said the clean energy industry contributed $14.1 billion to gross state product in 2019, or about 2.4% of the state's GSP, and accounted for more than 3% of the state's total workforce.

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