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Measuring the Green Economy

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Administration is committed to fostering the development of a clean and energy-efficient economy; that is, a “green” economy. This means encouraging the development of green businesses and green products and services, which in turn will create “green jobs.”

Our results suggest that green products and services comprised 1% to 2% of the total private business economy in 2007. The lower estimate was developed using a narrow definition that included products that we found generated little debate regarding their “greenness.” The larger estimate was based on a broad definition that included products that some might argue were not green. Under the broad definition, the share of green products and services was substantially larger, but still constituted only a relatively small part of the economy.

The number of green jobs was also found to be modest, ranging from about 1.8 million jobs under the narrow definition to 2.4 million jobs under the broad definition. These jobs constituted between 1.5% and 2.0% of total private sector employment in 2007. Green products accounted for about the same share of employment in the manufacturing sector as in the services sector.

ESA analysts used publicly available data to estimate the national production of green products and services. As our nation promotes greater environmental stewardship, it is important to establish national benchmarks by which to measure progress toward a greener economy and nation. While this report does not establish an official benchmark, it outlines a process that might be used to establish such a benchmark.

In this report, a product or service was considered “green” based on whether it conserves energy and other natural resources or reduces pollution. ESA analysts applied this definition to over 22,000 product codes from the 2007 Economic Census to estimate the share of green products and services in the U. S. economy. These data cover most of the private sector economy. We utilized information from other sources when Economic Census data were not available. We compared estimates from the 2007 Economic Census to estimates from the 2002 Economic Census for manufacturing products.

The analysis in this report provides a starting point for measuring future progress as the greeneconomy grows in the United States.

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Appendix107.23 KB
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