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Green Jobs Creation Slower Than Expected

Reuters (04/13/12) Andy Sullivan

Three years after the Obama administration launched a push to build a job-creating “green” economy, the millions of jobs predicted have been slow to become reality. A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal. The White House said in November 2010 that its clean-energy efforts had generated work for 225,000 people and would ultimately create a total of 827,000 “job years”—implying average annual employment of around 200,000 over the four years of Obama’s presidential term. White House officials stand by that estimate and say job creation is only one aspect of the clean-energy push.

Backers of the notion of a “green collar” work force argue that earth-friendly energy is a promising growth sector that could create a bounty of stable, middle-class jobs and fill the gap left by manufacturing work that has moved overseas. However, Darren Divine, vice president for academics at the College of Southern Nevada, says the fields of health care, education, and technology are likely to provide the best employment prospects in the years to come.