USW Hosts Roundtable on Energy Jobs

The USW International headquarters played host on June 28th to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and a group of labor, political and business leaders as the secretary released the 2022 U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

The report, which tracks job growth and trends across the U.S. energy sector, covered the calendar year 2021. The numbers show that after a decline in 2020, the energy sector experienced higher job growth in 2021 than the overall economy, with energy jobs increasing 4 percent from 2020 to 2021, while jobs overall grew by 2.8 percent. 

USW International President Tom Conway led the group in a discussion of how they can best work together to make sure that growth continues in a sustainable way that benefits working families. 

The growth in energy jobs is good news for the USW and the labor movement in particular, Conway said, because jobs in the energy sector have a higher rate of union density than jobs in other sectors. Energy jobs have a 10 percent union density, while the private sector as a whole is at 6 percent.

“Amidst the unique challenges of a nation coming out of a global pandemic, America’s energy sector stands out with considerable job growth across nearly all industries,” Granholm said. “The report shows that jobs critical to our clean energy transition are on the rise and poised for continued expansion thanks to the historic investments from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”

In particular, the report showed that jobs in “green” energy have seen unprecedented growth over the past year. Employment in electric vehicle production grew by 26.2 percent, and hybrid electric vehicle jobs grew by nearly 20 percent.

Granholm said that the Biden administration is determined to make sure that, as that growth continues, more of those new clean energy jobs are unionized.

“We want to make sure that these are good-paying union jobs,” Granholm said. “We want to make sure we do this right.”


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