New reports shows Florida 49th in percentage of green jobs in U.S.

Now, because we're such a large state, those 102,967 actually make up the 7th most of any state in the nation - but again, per capita, that's nothing to brag about. The largest sector is in Waste Management and Treatment, where there are 23,862 such jobs. The biggest growth in any sector over the past seven years (2003-2010) was in Conservation, which grew by 12.7 percent (20,854 jobs).

But the fastest growing sector was in solar photovoltaic (as it is nationally). Not that there are that many opportunities in the state (Brookings says there were 597 such jobs in that industry in Florida in 2010).

In the Tampa Bay area, there are 15,347 jobs in the "clean energy" economy, making it 34th out of the top 100 regions in the U.S.

Although some critics have scoffed at the whole notion of a "Green jobs economy," a new report issued today by the Brookings Institute should give them pause.

The report says that the green technology and clean power industries are currently employing more workers than those who work in the dirtier aspects of energy, such as coal and oil. We're talking jobs in sectors like solar, wind, waste water recycling, public transportation and energy efficiency retrofits.

Brookings reports that there are currently 2.7 million jobs in America that fit into these sectors - even more than the biosciences industry.

But the numbers are depressing when it comes to Florida. By the measure of percentage of green jobs vs. all other jobs in the Sunshine State, our 102,967 make up just 1.4 percent of all such jobs. By that measure, the state ranks 49th in the nation (for those of you who skipped history, that's second to last).

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