There are any number of data points you can use to measure the growth of an industry like electric vehicles and other zero-emissions solutions, and job growth is one of the big ones. So, lucky for us, the U.S. Department of Energy recently released its 2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, giving us some insight into employment, workforce and hiring information by energy industry technology groups.
Now take the following information with a grain of salt – it doesn’t tell us the whole picture into EV interest. But, it does tell us how these alternative fuel solutions will likely fair looking into the near future at a glance.
Here’s what we learned:
The report tells us that the Energy sector rose by 4% from 2020 to 2021, and grew faster than the U.S. workforce overall, which rose 2.8% in 2021. Of these energy jobs, those aligned toward areas of net-zero emissions made up about 40%.
Now, here’s where it gets interesting. The report shows that the Motor Vehicle and Components Parts category of the energy sector employed just over 2.5 million people in 2021 – an increase of 9.8% from 2020. The report goes on to tell us that jobs in carbon-reducing motor vehicles and component parts technologies grew a collective 25% in 2021, and these were among the only subcategories of any type of energy jobs that did NOT decrease in 2020, the year we were introduced to COVID here in the states.
And, what is arguably more telling is that every category of motor vehicle in this report, which includes hybrid electric, full battery electric, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell – all added jobs at a fairly significant scale. Hydrogen led the pack in terms of percentage at a whopping 41.4% year over year.
Also of note is that jobs in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and hybrid vehicles were among the only subcategories of ANY type of energy jobs that rose in numbers from 2019 to 2021 and did not decrease from 2019 to 2020, the year of the pandemic.
Furthermore – and this is kind of a big deal if you ask me – the report tells us that fossil fuel jobs accounted for most of the fuel jobs lost, as the fuel sector experienced a decrease of a little over 29,000 jobs, or 3.1% from 2020 to 2021.
Of course, this isn’t only referring to vehicles now – this is fuel in general, but the trend is there. The report shows that onshore and offshore petroleum sectors combined led total job losses at 31,593 jobs, and coal fuel employment declined by the greatest percentage, at 11.8%
Of note, though, is the biofuels category. Renewable diesel fuels, biodiesel fuels and waste fuels all added jobs.
Finally, looking to the future, companies in all energy technology groups were surveyed as part of the report, and these companies said they overall expect job growth from 2021 to 2022. The expected job growth leader? Motor vehicles.