Prop Zero
The Starting Point for Commentary and Coverage of California Politics

Hey Jerry, Have You Heard About the Green Job Myth?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor, believes green jobs are the way out of the recession. According to an interesting study by a Spanish economics professor, though, he might be off the mark.

    The study found that for every green job created by the Spanish government, 2.2 jobs were destroyed, and that only 1 in 10 new jobs were permanent.

    According to the study, most of the new jobs were temporary -- only 10% were permanent jobs in operations and maintenance of renewable power systems.

    And here in the U.S., as we start this push toward government funding of green jobs,  initial reports aren't so encouraging.

    More than $2 billion in federal stimulus money focused on supporting the growth of renewable energy jobs. According to a report from the American University School of Communications, though, close to 80 percent of that money went to foreign companies,  because American employers couldn't find the workers with the right skills.

    In Michigan, local employers couldn't find enough skilled workers to install windmills. Instead, they hired Danish workers, who went back home after the jobs was done.

    "We need to train the workers to be ready for those jobs," said Henry DeVries, Assitant Dean at UC San Diego Extension and co-author of the upcoming book, "Closing America's Job Gap: Innovation and Job Creation."

    That will mean sacrifice in terms of time and money by workers and employers.

    "Sacrifice is another word for investment," DeVries says, "Without investment, you won't get a return on that investment."

    (/blogs/prop-zero)