Oklahoma loses thousands of green energy jobs too


New data claims more than 447,000 employees in the clean energy sector lost their jobs last month in the U.S. because of the coronavirus pandemic and fuel crisis, including nearly 3,800 in Oklahoma.

BW Research Partnership and industry groups released the figures this week and they show Oklahoma’s job loss in the clean energy sector totaled 3,787 in April, a dramatic increase from the 718 reported in March. The April loss was a 16.5% drop in employment in green jobs in the state while the March loss was only 3%.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought historic job losses over the month of March. In April, these losses doubled. Initial unemployment claims for April total 23.1 million, while the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the US workforce currently totals 33.7 million according to BW Research.
April brought clean energy job losses triple those seen in March, for an estimated 447,200 new clean energy jobs lost. This totals 594,300 clean energy jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic, or a 17 percent drop in clean energy employment.

The March losses in Oklahoma included 760 jobs in Tulsa County, representing a 12.2% decline and 759 green jobs in Oklahoma County for a drop of 11.3%.

Of surrounding states, Texas recorded a loss of 25,227 green jobs in April for a 10.5% drop. At least 2,475 employees in the sector were put out of work in April in Kansas which represented a decline of 9.7%.

Colorado recorded a loss of 5,951 Clean Energy sector jobs for a 9% drop. New Mexico’s loss was 1,756 which amounted to a 14.8% decline. Arkansas’ loss was 2,532 for a drop of 12.1% and the losses of clean energy jobs in Missouri fell 11.9% or 6,801 employees.

BW Research stated that while the clean energy industry faced a significant initial drop in March and a staggering tripling of those
declines in April, job losses will likely continue to increase. Clean energy related manufacturing plants that produce everything from electric vehicles and batteries to ENERGY
STAR® appliances, building materials, high-efficiency lighting equipment and solar panels and wind turbine parts also were closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our previous projection of a half million or 15 percent of all clean energy jobs lost by the end of June has already been surpassed. Based on that analysis, along with forecasts from clean energy trade groups and reports from individual companies, we conservatively project that the clean energy sector will lose about
a quarter of its workforce or 850,000 jobs by the end of the second quarter if no actions are taken to support the clean energy industry and its workers,” stated the report.

Click here for BW report.

Source: BW Research Partnership