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Green Goods and Services Occupations



The Occupational Employment and Wages in Green Goods and Services (GGS-OCC) program provides occupational employment and wage information for businesses that produce green goods and services. The GGS-OCC data are based on a sample of approximately 93,200 business establishments classified in 333 industries in which green goods or services are potentially produced. The GGS-OCC estimates combine data from the Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey with data collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey to produce occupational employment and wage estimates for three groups of establishments: those that receive none of their revenue from green goods and services, those that receive all of their revenue from green goods and services, and those with a mix of green and nongreen revenue.

Scope and reference period

The GGS-OCC estimates are based on data for 333 of the nearly 1,200 detailed (6-digit) 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries. BLS identified these 333 industries as those in which businesses potentially produced green goods or provided green services as their primary activity, based on the definition of green goods and services below. The GGS-OCC scope contains 20 percent of employment covered by state or federal unemployment insurance, or about 19 percent of total U.S. employment. A list of GGS-OCC in-scope industries is available in PDF or XLS format. The GGS-OCC estimates have a reference date of November 2011.


According to the BLS green jobs definition, green jobs are either:

  1. The output approach: jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources.
  2. The process approach: jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

The GGS-OCC data, like the GGS survey, are based on the output approach to measuring green jobs. For more information on the differences between the GGS-OCC and GGS data, see the GGS-OCC frequently asked questions. A separate survey called Green Technologies and Practices (GTP) is based on the BLS process approach to measuring green jobs.

The BLS definition of green goods and services includes jobs in businesses that produce goods and provide services that benefit the environment or preserve natural resources. These goods and services are sold to customers, and include research and development, installation, and maintenance services. Green goods and services fall into one or more of the following five categories:

  1. Energy from renewable sources. Electricity, heat, or fuel generated from renewable sources. These energy sources include wind, biomass, geothermal, solar, ocean, hydropower, and landfill gas and municipal solid waste.
  2. Energy efficiency. Products and services that improve energy efficiency. Included in this group are energy-efficient equipment, appliances, buildings, and vehicles, as well as products and services that improve the energy efficiency of buildings and the efficiency of energy storage and distribution, such as Smart Grid technologies.
  3. Pollution reduction and removal, greenhouse gas reduction, and recycling and reuse. These are products and services that:
    • Reduce or eliminate the creation or release of pollutants or toxic compounds, or remove pollutants or hazardous waste from the environment.
    • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through methods other than renewable energy generation and energy efficiency, such as electricity generated from nuclear sources.
    • Reduce or eliminate the creation of waste materials; collect, reuse, remanufacture, recycle, or compost waste materials or wastewater.
  4. Natural resources conservation. Products and services that conserve natural resources. Included in this group are products and services related to organic agriculture and sustainable forestry; land management; soil, water, or wildlife conservation; and storm water management.
  5. Environmental compliance, education and training, and public awareness. These are products and services that:
    • Enforce environmental regulations.
    • Provide education and training related to green technologies and practices.
    • Increase public awareness of environmental issues.


The GGS-OCC data consist of employment, mean wage, and median wage estimates by occupation, presented for three groups of establishments: those with none, all, or some, but not all, of their revenue from green goods and services. Estimates are available at the national level for NAICS industry sectors and for all industries combined. These data represent all employment at establishments in a given revenue category. The GGS-OCC data do not specifically identify jobs directly associated with production of green goods and provision of green services, or provide counts of “green jobs” by occupation.

Technical Note

For more detailed information on the GGS-OCC methodology, please refer to the GGS-OCC technical note (HTML) (PDF).


  • Analysis of occupational employment
  • Analysis of occupational wages
  • Economic policy analysis
  • National economic planning
  • Industry skill and technologies studies
  • Vocational counseling and planning

Forms of publication

  • News release
  • HTML tables
  • Downloadable XLS file

Last Modified Date: October 3, 2012