In the United States the number of people employed by the solar industry exceeded those employed generating electricity through coal, gas and oil energy combined. This is according to a report by the US Department of Energy. Solar employed 43 percent of the electric power workforce in 2016. Fossil fuels accounted for 22 percent.
Almost 374,000 people were employed in solar energy and coal, gas and oil combined had a workforce of 187,000 people. Coal and natural gas numbers fell while solar expanded by 5,000 percent.
Fuel production and electricity generation together directly employed 1.9 million workers last year, according to the report, with 55%, or 1.1 million, working with fossil fuels. The DoE identifies another 2.3 million jobs associated with energy transmission, distribution and storage.
Solar energy added 73,615 new jobs to the U.S. economy over the past year while wind added a further 24,650.
Solar and wind jobs are growing at a rate 12 times as fast as the rest of the US economy and 46 percent of large firms have hired additional workers to address issues of sustainability over the past two years.
The gains are a contrast to the President's stance on energy. He has championed eliminating regulations and increasing fossil-fuel production to be able to make the claim that he is bringing jobs to the US. The Keystone XP Pipeline and the leasing of Federal Lands to mining are just tow examples of ignoring sustainable energy sources and the promotion of deregulation and land exploitation.
Link to the DoE report: https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20US%20Energy%20and%20Jobs%20Report_0.pdf