2009-2013: 7.9 Million New Jobs/$554 Billion in GDP Contribution from Green Construction

05/25/2011 02:40 pm ET
  • Jonathan A. Schein Highly regarded as a media and business executive. Noted for his thought leadership ability to quickly take advantage of new technologies and apply them to markets and the underlying structures of business, governmental and social trends.

Do I have your attention yet? These figures come from a joint study,
by the industry association United States Green Building Council
(USGBC) and consultant Booz Allen Hamilton, meant to predict where
green building and construction are headed over the next three-to-four
years. Currently, the study reports, green building supports 2 million
jobs and contributes $100 billion dollars to the economy, while from
2000-2008 it created or saved 2.4 million "direct, indirect and
'induced' jobs," generating over $120 billion in wages. The study
projects wage growth of nearly $400 billion in the next few years.
Jobs included in these figures range from architecture, design, and
construction to transportation and many other vocations that relate to
green building.

As 2009 winds down, this is more than an encouraging sign—it's a
statement of where some of the nation's economic growth will be coming
from over the next decade, if not longer. The term "jobless recovery"
is too often used when a recovery is under way.  This is typically put
forth by economists and pundits who see the economy as the current
state of affairs, and any growth is related to existing industries,
not future ones. 

It is difficult to see where the new growth will come from.  As the
the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, stated in an interview with
Charlie Rose last week, nobody really knew that somebody named Bill
Gates was going to come along. That same logic applies today. Another
Bill Gates is going to arise from the ashes of this economic
debacle. And chances are very good that this person will come from the
green economy.

Jonathan A. Schein is publisher of and