High Road or Low Road? Job Quality in the New Green Economy

Source: Philip Mattera, Good Jobs First, February 3, 2009

From an article:
A study released on the eve of a national conference on green jobs says that emerging eco-friendly work must provide adequate pay and benefits — or risk damaging efforts to restore the economy and strive for environmental sustainability.

The study released yesterday, “High Road or Low Road? Job Quality in the New Green Economy,” was conducted by the nonprofit resource center Good Jobs First and commissioned by organizations Change to Win, Sierra Club, the Laborers International Union of North America, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The researchers looked at pay and labor conditions for existing jobs in eco-friendly business sectors, including the manufacturing of components for wind and solar energy projects, green construction and recycling.

Researchers found that while some companies provide enough pay and benefits to adequately, if modestly, support a household of two adults and two children, other companies barely pay enough to keep that same family from sinking below the federal poverty wage line. Still other employers offer wages beneath the poverty wage standard of $10.19 an hour in household income for a family of four.

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