Viewing blog posts written by Gino DiCaro

Let’s get to the bottom of this 500,000 green jobs number

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 27, 2016

Growing green jobs is a reason state leaders cite to support ambitious climate change policies.  The policies will spark technological innovations and entrepreneurship to create new industries and jobs but they often say nothing about the losses that may be suffered by consumers and other businesses. 

Senate Pro Tem Kevin deLeon said the following after SB 32 and AB 197 passed this week to set a new climate change target for 2030: 

"We have empirical evidence that's very clear that we have created 500,000 brand new jobs in the clean energy space ... This is not about reducing carbon in the abstract. This is about economic growth. That’s why we are the 6th largest economy in the world. There is rhyme and reason why we have this legislation – its because it leads to job growth."

The California Center for Jobs & The Economy has this to say about green job creation in California. Some highlights:   

  • The “500,000 new jobs” claim has been voiced since 2011, casting serious doubt on the validity of the number.
  • Next 10 identified only 180,0000 green jobs in their 2014 report and has since even reduced that number.
  • A report by Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a primary report used by many advocates, claims 142,000 advanced electricity generation jobs. But EDD data (the government’s gold standard for job tracking) says California has only 18,900 jobs total in the entire sector of "Electric Power Generation, Transportation & Distribution."

Most importantly, the “500,000 new clean energy jobs” claim does not account for jobs lost due to costs in other sectors such as manufacturing.  California’s 1.28 million high-wage manufacturing workers should be concerned that creating a phantom number of new green jobs at their expense is a measure of success for climate policies.

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Californians deserve better MFG information around SB 350

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Aug. 31, 2015

The  "myths and facts" document created by the State Senate Democrats in support of SB 350, a bill that mandates 50 percent reduction in petroleum use, 50 percent use of renewable power and doubling energy efficiency in buildings by 2030, cherry picks data and chooses arbitrary timeframes to turn reality on its head. We can have a healthy debate about climate policy, but we must first put some perspective to these claims.

One "myth" the document claims to dispel is that “SB 350 will kill California’s manufacturing industry." To ‘prove’ this point, the document highlights the size of California’s manufacturing economy and picks statistics for jobs, output and exports to prove manufacturing is flourishing under current climate policies, such as AB 32, and would do even better with SB 350.

They claim the sheer size of the California manufacturing economy proves that these policies are a positive for the state. However, it should be no surprise that the most populated state in the nation also happens to have a large manufacturing employment, production and export base.  On a per capita basis, a more rational way to understand manufacturing’s role in our economy, the story is different.  “California has twice as many manufacturing companies as Texas,” might be factually true, but California has still has the same per capita manufacturing jobs as Texas – one for every 29 people.

Second, while we are still the country’s largest manufacturing state there has been a shift away from California in recent years. Since the end of the recession in 2010 manufacturing jobs have only increased in California by 2.8 percent while the U.S. has grown its manufacturing base by 7.8 percent – that’s more than 200 percent greater manufacturing growth outside California.

In that same time period, we attracted less than two percent of the country’s new manufacturing investments. The result of these disturbing trends is that since 2009 U.S. manufacturing output has grown by a healthy 22 percent while California’s output has been lagging with only 11 percent growth.

Finally, we wonder why the State Senate Democrats trust the Manufacturing News Index (MNI) to count jobs rather than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that is relied on by California’s own employment agencies.  MNI uses outdated Standard Industrial Codes and includes more types of companies in their analysis (mining, extraction, among others) than does BLS.  According to BLS, we grew manufacturing jobs by 0.4 percent which is far behind the 1.6 percent US growth for the period March 2014 to March 2015.

Policies that increase energy and transportation costs on manufacturers will encourage further declines in employment, investments and manufacturing output.  We’re glad the State Senate cares about California manufacturing and we hope  these facts about manufacturing will lead to smart policies going forward to reduce burdens and maintain affordable energy supplies.   

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