• The US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) claims there will be a drop of 38% in solar industry jobs by June 2020 because of the pandemic as compared to pre-COVID estimates
  • It will coincide with 37% expected sequential decline of deployments in Q2/2020 due to the same reason
  • At least 22 states are likely to employ a minimum of 1,000 fewer workers in the industry

The COVID-19 crisis is claiming jobs in the US solar industry ‘at a faster rate than the overall US economy’, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Compared to pre-pandemic expectations of 302,000 Americans in solar jobs by June 2020, there will be 114,000 fewer jobs by the same time.

The industry now expects 188,000 workers to be employed in the solar sector through June 2020. This 38% drop in expected jobs, SEIA fears, will take the industry back to 2014 levels. The industry association points out that this drop coincides with an expected 37% QoQ decline in Q2/2020 compared to pre-COVID forecasts; it believes the US market in the current quarter will add 3 GW of new capacity.

Since the end of February 2020, the pandemic has claimed 65,000 jobs in the US solar industry with 22 states assumed to employ each at least 1,000 fewer workers.

The job loss is taking place across all 50 states, but 36 states are seen to be suffering over 30% job losses. In some states, it exceeds 60%. Recently, the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and partners analyzed unemployment data to claim that nearly 600,000 US clean energy workers have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic whereas before the pandemic, clean energy had been one of the US economy’s biggest and fastest-growing employment sectors.

“Thousands of solar workers are being laid off each week, but with swift action from Congress, we know that solar can be a crucial part of our economic recovery,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “With a few simple changes, Congress has an opportunity to save solar jobs, rebuild our economy and advance clean energy even as policy makers address this very real public health crisis.”