What is Clean Jobs Midwest?

Clean Jobs Midwest is a report based on survey data on clean energy employment in 12 Midwestern states. These states include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. In 2019, the region employed more than 700,000 people in sectors including renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, advanced transportation, grid and storage, and clean fuels. 

Clean Energy Trust partners with Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) to publish this comprehensive report of clean energy jobs throughout the Midwest.


The Clean Jobs Midwest report includes people employed in the following sectors:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Renewable energy generation
  • Advanced transportation
  • Grid and Storage
  • Clean fuels

Learn more about the jobs in these sectors here.

How are clean energy jobs counted?

Clean Jobs Midwest reports employment and growth in clean energy technologies for 12 Midwest states. The Clean Jobs Midwest report is derived from the 2020 U.S. Energy Employment Report (2020 USEER), produced by the Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and collected and analyzed by BW Research Partnership (BWRP). For more information on the survey methodology, please visit  

The 2020 USEER methodology relies on the most recently available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages  (QCEW, second quarter 2019), together with a detailed supplemental survey of business establishments across the United States designed and conducted by BW Research Partnership on behalf of NASEO and EFI. During a time of rapid change in energy technology and business employment structure, supplemental surveys are an important tool to capture developing trends. Taken together, the BLS and survey data provide the most comprehensive calculation of energy-related employment available as of 2019.

Does this survey count indirect or induced jobs?

No, this survey serves as a point-in-time count of employees directly employed in the clean energy industry; it does not attempt to estimate or model indirect or induced jobs, nor does it make predictions of economic impact.

When was the survey conducted?

All data in the 2020 U.S. Energy Employment Report (2020 USEER) rely on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) data for the end of the second quarter of 2019. The USEER survey was administered between September 24, 2019 and November 21, 2019 and averaged 14 minutes in length. As such, it does not reflect business climate or policy changes, or the global pandemic that occurred in 2020.

Does this survey provide wage data?

No; while this survey doesn’t collect wage data, there is evidence from the market that many of the jobs in this industry are well paying jobs being added to communities across the region and country. For example, as of 2019, wind turbine technician was the fastest growing job in the country and had an average salary above $50,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has additional information on wage data for certain sub-sectors as well, in particular wind and solar energy generation.

How does the methodology of this year's survey compate to last year?

The only change to the methodology (other than slight changes to the questionnaire) was the distribution of ~50,000 survey invites through the mail. Mailed survey invitations were not part of the survey approach in previous years.

Why did the total number of clean energy jobs change for 2018?

The revised estimates include additional information that was not available at the time of the initial release, including updates to the number of clean energy jobs that existed in 2018 for several states.

Why doesn’t the federal government produce this report?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conducts extensive employment research every year. However, because of the complexity and the rapid changes occurring in the energy industry, its methodology is incomplete. For example, people who install solar panels are classified as electricians rather than workers in the solar sector.

The original USEER study was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help provide a complementary dataset that was specific to the energy industry. This study was produced and released in 2016 and 2017. Starting in 2018, the DOE decided to no longer produce a report. In response to this decision, the National Association of State Energy Officials and the Energy Futures Initiative worked with numerous partners to continue producing the USEER report using the same methodology, datasets, and research firm that produced the reports for the DOE in order to continue to provide this valuable data.

Why aren't there any jobs in my state legislative district?

Jobs in the Clean Jobs Midwest survey are categorized geographically by postal code (zip code). Unfortunately, state legislative districts do not always line up with postal codes, so jobs must be assigned to one district or another. As a result, there are a few cases where a legislative district does not list any jobs, because jobs in that district have been assigned to a neighboring district.

How does this survey relate to The Solar Foundation solar census?

The Solar Foundation (TSF) solar census numbers are also developed from the 2020 U.S. Energy Employment Report (2020 USEER); however, TSF uses a different threshold for what counts as a job as a way to focus specifically on one subsector. While Clean Jobs Midwest counts anyone who does work in a field, TSF only counts someone who spends at least 50% of their time in a field. As an example, an employee of an engineering, procurement, and construction firm who spends 45% of their time on solar rooftop projects, 40% on building efficiency projects, and 15% on other work would count as a clean energy worker in the Clean Jobs Midwest study, but would be excluded from the TSF study.

How does this survey relate to The Clean Jobs America Report?

The methodology for the Clean Jobs Midwest and Clean Jobs America reports are identical.



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