N.H. sets pace in region for ‘clean’ jobs

Over the last several years, New Hampshire has added a higher percentage of green jobs than every other state in New England, according to a report by the Brookings Institution.Released this week, the report by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank looked at green job growth by state from 2003 to 2010. Over that period, the number of “clean” jobs in New Hampshire grew by 5.3 percent – from 8,971 in 2003 to 12,886 in 2010 – far eclipsing the national average of 3.4 percent.Encompassing everything from organic farming to green construction to carbon storage, the report defined what it called the “clean” economy as the sector of the economy that produces goods and services with an environmental benefit.It included jobs in 39 industries within five sectors: agriculture and natural resources conservation; education and compliance; energy and resource efficiency; greenhouse gas reduction, environmental management and recycling; and renewable energy.New Hampshire’s 5.3 percent growth beat out every other New England state, all of which also saw gains in green jobs over that period, just not as significantly.Connecticut and Maine trailed the Granite State most closely, with 4 percent growth each, followed by Massachusetts at 3.3 percent, Vermont at 1.8 percent and Rhode Island with 0.8 percent growth.The clean economy accounts for 2 percent of all New Hampshire jobs, according to the report. Of those jobs, close to half are held by workers with a high school diploma or less. Average salary is just over $40,000.”The clean economy offers more opportunities and better pay for low- and middle-skilled workers than the national economy as a whole,” the report said. “Median wages in the clean economy – meaning those in the middle of the distribution – are 13 percent higher than median U.S. wages.”Compared to the economy as a whole, the report also found that the clean economy relies more heavily on manufacturing and exports. Nationally, 26 percent of all clean jobs are in manufacturing, compared to just 9 percent in the broad economy. — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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