Article

September 2013

Green Goods and Services survey: results and collection

In March 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published its second and final Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey news release containing detailed economic statistics on industry employment in the green goods and services sector. The GGS survey used the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program (QCEW) as a sample frame. This article highlights the 2011 GGS survey results and enhancements of the data collection process. In 2011, the U.S. economy had 3.4 million jobs associated with the production of green goods and services, which represented 2.6 percent of total employment and resulted from an increase of 157,746 jobs from 2010.

In fiscal year 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) received funding to develop and implement the collection of new data on green jobs. BLS defines green jobs as jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. One of the resulting products, the Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey, was an annual publication that used the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program as a sample frame. The QCEW program publishes a quarterly count of employment and wages reported by employers, covering 98 percent of U.S. jobs, available at the county, metropolitan statistical area, state, and national levels by industry. The QCEW program also maintains a business register database of all establishments in the United States subject to unemployment insurance taxes. The GGS survey collected data from approximately 120,000 sampled worksites in 325 industries—from the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)—identified as potential producers of green goods and services. For additional background information on the history and methodology of the GGS survey, please refer to Dixie Sommers’ article, “BLS green jobs overview”.1

On March 19, 2013, BLS published its second and final detailed economic statistics on industry employment in the green goods and services sector.2 For 2011, BLS reported the U.S. economy had 3.4 million jobs associated with the production of green goods and services; this figure represented 2.6 percent of total employment and showed an increase of 157,746 jobs between 2010 and 2011. This GGS survey release presented the opportunity for BLS to analyze the change in employment within green goods and services industries. This article will focus on the 2011 GGS survey results and enhancements to the data collection process.

2011 GGS survey results

In 2011, the United States had 3.4 million jobs associated with the production of green goods and services, accounting for 2.6 percent of total employment. The 3.4 million jobs in 2011 represented an increase of nearly 160,000 green goods and services jobs when compared with the 2010 GGS survey job estimates. Between 2010 and 2011, green goods and services employment increased 4.9 percent, compared with a 1.2-percent increase in total employment. The largest increase was in the construction sector, in which green goods and services employment grew by 26.4 percent, compared with a decrease in total employment of 0.3 percent. Leisure and hospitality experienced the second largest change in green goods and services employment, 14.8 percent, compared with a 2.2 percent increase in total employment. (See table 1.)

Table 1. Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey employment level and percent change by industry, 2010–2011 annual averages
IndustryNAICS2010 GGS employment2011 GGS employmentChange in GGS employment, 2010‒2011Percent change in GGS employmentPercent change in total QCEW employment(1)

Total, all industries

3,243,5333,401,279157,746(2)4.91.2

Total, all private industries

2,342,5622,515,200172,638(2)7.41.9

Natural resources and mining

11, 2163,34464,6891,3452.15.1

Utilities

2269,03171,1292,0983.0–0.2

Construction

23385,777487,709101,932(2)26.4–0.3

Manufacturing

31–33492,985507,16814,183(2)2.91.9

Trade

42, 44–45205,567223,07917,512(2)8.51.3

Transportation and warehousing

48–49242,137238,755–3,382(2)–1.42.8

Information

5133,32129,412–3,909–11.7–1.1

Financial activities

52, 53462475132.80.2

Professional, scientific, and technical services

54355,386381,98126,5957.52.9

Management of companies and enterprises

5562,63069,3106,68010.73.2

Administrative and waste services

56330,650335,4174,7671.44.2

Education and health services

61, 6228,78926,123–2,666–9.32.0

Leisure and hospitality

71, 7220,64223,6963,054(2)14.82.2

Other services (except public administration)

8151,84156,2574,4168.51.4

Federal government

208,744213,3404,5962.2–3.9

State government

256,224248,539–7,685‒3.0‒1.1

Local government

436,002424,201–11,801‒2.7‒1.6

Notes:

(1) Industries may not add to the total because of unclassified employment in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) total employment. The unclassified North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sector is not shown separately, but it is included in the total.
(2) GGS employment level changes in these industries are statistically significant.
Note: Data may not add to the total because of rounding.
Sources: GGS survey and Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Private industry

The private sector had 2.5 million  green goods and services jobs in 2011, an increase of 172,638 (7.4 percent) from 2010. Manufacturing had 507,168 green goods and services jobs in 2011, the most among any private sector industry. Construction had the largest change in green goods and services employment, increasing by 101,932. (See figure 1.)

Notes

1 For additional background information, see Dixie Sommers, “BLS green jobs overview,” Monthly Labor Review, January 2013, pp. 3–16, http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/01/art1full.pdf.

2 For more information about the discontinuation of the survey, go to http://www.bls.gov/bls/sequester_info.htm.

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About the Author

Amanda L. Chadwick
chadwick.amanda@bls.gov

Amanda L. Chadwick, formerly an economist in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, is a program analyst in the Office of Administration, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Mark DeWolf

Mark DeWolf, formerly an economist in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a financial economist with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Nicholas A. Fett
fett.nicholas@bls.gov

Nicholas A. Fett is an economist in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Robert L. Viegas
viegas.robert@bls.gov

Robert L. Viegas, formerly an economist in the Office of Employment and Unemployment Statistics, is a program analyst in the Office of Field Operations, Bureau of Labor Statistics.