Oregon ranks 14th in U.S. in solar jobs
By Steve Law
The Portland Tribune
Oregon has an estimated 2,700 people employed in the solar industry, 14th-highest among the states and 11th-highest per-capita, according to a new report by the Solar Foundation.
The foundation found the solar sector now accounts for 142,000 jobs nationally, a whopping 53 percent increase in the past three years.
Oregon has lost an estimated 200 solar jobs since 2012, some of that likely at the large SolarWorld solar panel plant in Hillsboro that has been hurt by cheap Chinese imports. However, the state also has 121 other companies that supply solar energy jobs.
Oregon has about 7,246 homes with solar power, according to the foundation, 16th-highest among the states.
California, home to some of the leading publicly traded solar companies, leads the nation with 47,223 solar jobs, followed by Arizona with 8,558 jobs.
Other states ranking ahead of Oregon are: New Jersey, 6,500 jobs; Massachusetts, 6,400; New York, 5,000; Texas, 4,100; Florida, 4,000; Ohio, 3,800; Colorado, 3,600; North Carolina, 3,100; Pennsylvania, 2,900; Missouri, 2,800; and Tennessee, 2,800.
Michigan is tied with Oregon, with 2,700 solar jobs.