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Measuring green industry employment
*Mark deWolf, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Keywords: US green goods and services survey, green goods and services definition, green goods and services methodology, green goods and services research

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published the first detailed economic statistics on industry employment in the green goods and services sector in the United States. This paper discusses both the definition of green jobs and methodology used by BLS to develop this new survey as well as the first published survey results. The development of a green jobs definition began with an extensive review of definitions used in existing green data publications and studies from various agencies, including State governments, Eurostat, Statistics Canada, and private research institutions. The research methodology involved feasibility interviews, panel testing of various forms, follow-up interviews with panel respondents, and subsequent sample frame enrichment. Among other important issues, the panels focused on the respondents’ understanding of the BLS definition of green goods and services and the prevalence of green activity at establishments. With a sample size of approximately 120,000 units, BLS published the first results from the GGS survey with estimates of the number of green jobs at both the national level and the state level for the private sector as well as the public sector.