Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Green Jobs, In the Red

The much hyped green jobs tsunami that was going to sweep the country has—so far anyway—been a real bust, as the Heritage Foundation reports.

An excerpt, with links at the jump.

“President Barack Obama has a problem on his hands when even his stalwart allies at The New York Times have no choice but to admit to a glaring reality: The President’s “green jobs” promise has failed miserably.

“On Friday, the Times printed a harsh assessment of the state of the “green” economy—including a conclusion that the President’s promise to create five million green jobs over 10 years has proven to be nothing more than “a pipe dream,” with California’s Bay Area providing a particularly poignant example of how “green” jobs have actually been lost, not gained: “In the Bay Area as in much of the country, the green economy is not proving to be the job-creation engine that many politicians envisioned . . .“A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2 percent of employment nationwide and only slightly more — 2.2 percent — in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5 percent.”

“California isn’t the only place, though, where the green dream is falling short of reality. Last year, Seattle won a $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization programs. The money was to be spent on insulating crawl spaces, serving to create jobs while helping the environment by reducing the energy needed to heat homes. The program, which was announced at the White House on the eve of Earth Day, has proven to be a total flop. reports: “[M]ore than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program. Many of the jobs are administrative, and not the entry-level pathways once dreamed of for low-income workers. Some people wonder if the original goals are now achievable.”