Green Jobs: A Pathway to a Strong Middle Class

Source: Vice President of the United States, Middle Class Task Force, Staff Report, 2009

The White House Task Force on the Middle Class has a simple mandate: to find, highlight, and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American middle class. With that mandate at our backs, it is no accident that we chose to focus on green jobs for our very first taskforce meeting in Philadelphia, PA on February 27.

There are many reasons for our interest in green jobs. The Obama/Biden Administration is deeply committed to reforming how we create and consume energy in America, and project of reform is the work of many different officials and agencies within the government. One part of that agenda is to promote the creation of green jobs.

Green jobs have the potential to be quality, family-sustaining jobs that also help to improve our environment. They are largely domestic jobs that can’t be offshored. They tend to pay more than other jobs, even controlling for worker characteristics. Moreover, green jobs are an outgrowth of a larger movement to reform the way we create and use energy in both this country and the rest of the world. They represent a growth sector, and one that offers the dual promise of providing good jobs while meeting the environmental challenge to reduce our dependence on finite fossil fuels that generate harmful carbon emissions.

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