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Characterising green employment: the impacts of 'greening' on workforce composition

Alex Bowen, Karlygash Kuralbayeva and Eileen L. Tipoe

LSE Research Online Documents on Economics from London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library

Abstract: This paper estimates the share of jobs in the US that would benefit from a transition to the green economy, and presents different measures for the ease with which workers are likely to be able to move from non-green to green jobs. Using the US O*NET database and its definition of green jobs, 19.4% of US workers are part of the green economy in a broad sense, although most green employment is 'indirectly' rather than 'directly' green, comprising existing jobs that are expected to be in high demand due to greening, but do not require significant changes in tasks, skills, or knowledge. Analysis of task content also shows that green jobs vary in 'greenness', with very few jobs only consisting of green tasks, suggesting that the term 'green' should be considered a continuum rather than a binary characteristic. While it is easier to transition to indirectly green rather than directly green jobs, greening is likely to involve transitions on a similar scale and scope of existing job transitions. Non-green jobs generally appear to differ from their green counterparts in only a few skill-specific aspects, suggesting that most re-training can happen on-the-job. Network analysis shows that the green economy offers a large potential for short-run growth if job transitions are strategically managed.

Keywords: skills; occupational choice; green employment; green economy; ES/K006576/1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J21 J24 J62 O33 O51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-env and nep-hme
Date: 2018-05-01
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Published in Energy Economics, 1, May, 2018, 72, pp. 263-275. ISSN: 0140-9883

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