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Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2013

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Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2013

  1. 1. s
 F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 4 Analysis of the Arizona Solar Workforce Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2013
  2. 2. Acknowledgements: The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms markets. In 2010, The Solar Foundation® released its first National Solar Jobs Census report. Census 2010 established the first credible national solar jobs baseline and verified the positive impact the solar industry is having on the U.S. economy. Using the same rigorous, peer- reviewed methodology, TSF has conducted an annual Census in each of the last four years to track changes and analyze trends in the solar industry labor market. ! This year s National Solar Jobs Census report series was produced by TSF and BW Research Partnership with the support of the following research partners: • The George Washington University’s Solar Institute (GW Solar Institute); • The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA); and • The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC). ! TSF would like to acknowledge and thank its Census sponsors. Without their foresight and leadership, this report would not have been possible: • Energy Foundation; • SolarCity; • Sierra Club; • Recurrent Energy; • GTM Research and SEIA for providing complimentary copies of the U.S. Solar Market Insight: 2012 Year in Review report to survey respondents; and • Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations for helping to validate the methodological framework for Census 2010-2012. ! TSF and BW Research also want to thank all of the Arizona solar employers that participated in the survey. Your responses were critical in providing us with the high level of accurate and timely data needed to produce this report. ! For questions or comments about this report, please contact either: ! Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director The Solar Foundation® 505 9th Street, NW - Suite 800 Washington, DC 20004 202-469-3750; ! Philip Jordan, Principal and Vice-President BW Research Partnership 50 Mill Pond Dr. Wrentham, MA 02093 (508) 384-2471; ! Please cite this publication when referencing this material as “Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2013, The Solar Foundation, available at:” ! Cover Photo Courtesy of First Solar
  3. 3. About The Solar Foundation® The Solar Foundation® (TSF) is an independent national 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to increase understanding of solar energy through strategic research that educates the public and transforms markets. TSF is considered the premier research organization on the solar labor force, employer trends, and economic impacts of solar. It has provided leading-edge industry insight to the National Academies, the Inter-American Development Bank, the U.S. Department of Energy, and other organizations during a time of dynamic industry growth and policy and economic uncertainty. While TSF recognizes that solar energy is a key part of our energy future, it is committed to excellence in its aim to help people fairly and objectively gauge the value of the solar industry worldwide. About BW Research Partnership BW Research is widely regarded as the national leader in labor market analysis for emerging industries and clean energy technologies. In addition to the Census series, BW Research has conducted rigorous solar installation and wind industry labor market analysis for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, wind energy and energy retrofit studies for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a series of comprehensive clean energy workforce studies for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Illinois, and Vermont, and numerous skills and gap analyses for community colleges, workforce investment boards, state agencies, and nonprofit organizations. BW Research provides high quality data and keen insight into economic and workforce issues related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, recycling, water, waste, and wastewater management, and other environmental fields. The principals of the firm are committed to providing research and analysis for data-driven decision- making. About The George Washington University Solar Institute The George Washington University Solar Institute (GW Solar Institute) is a unique research and information center focused on identifying, developing, and sharing pragmatic and politically attuned solutions to the policy barriers preventing the adoption and scale of solar energy. Toward these ends, the GW Solar Institute pursues research projects in a wide range of disciplines, typically in partnership with other university faculty, industry experts, and GW students. In addition, the GW Solar Institute also leverages its intricate knowledge of the policymaking process and location in Washington, DC to convene stakeholders and provide decision-makers with unbiased new ideas on solar related policies, regulatory approaches, and government investments.
  4. 4. 1. Introduction Solar installations nationwide expanded at a record pace in 2013, as companies became more efficient and workers more productive, with jobs growing at their fastest rate since The Solar Foundation® began tracking them in 2010. Due to this growth, as of November 2013, the U.S. solar industry employs 142,698 solar workers  in every state1 and across a wide range of activities. Current forecasts suggest no sign of a slowdown. The national solar industry is poised to continue to both become more efficient— worker productivity increased by 21.5 % between 2012-2013—and add jobs, particularly in the installation sector. After a record 19.9% employment growth, national solar employers expect to grow their payrolls by adding workers at a 15.6% rate through November 2014. These projections, if realized, would result in an additional 22,240 new solar jobs across the United States. Growth has not been even, however, and despite the national success of the industry in the U.S., Arizona data reflect a much more challenging environment for solar over the previous year. After a banner year in 2012, in which nearly 720 megawatts (MW) of photovoltaic (PV) solar capacity were installed across the state (producing enough electricity to meet the needs of over 90,000 average Arizona homes), new PV installations in 2013 are expected to have taken a significant hit by the end of 2013, dropping to only 444 MW – a nearly 40% decrease in new installed PV capacity year over year.  This2 decrease is largely due to less utility-scale PV capacity coming online in 2013 (300 MW versus almost 600 MW in 2012), which is almost entirely made up for by the completion of a large concentrating solar power (CSP) facility in October 2013 (Figure 1). In this sense then, total annual installed capacity in 2013 is expected to be very close to what was observed in the previous year. This research effort, however, finds that solar employment was not similarly flat, but instead decreased substantially year over year, from 9,800 solar workers in 2012 to 8,558 in November 2013, a reduction in workforce of 12.7% This loss of over 1,200 jobs cannot be attributed to a single cause. Rather, this decrease is more likely influenced by a number of factors both within the state and beyond. One readily identifiable contributing factor is the completion of the 280 MW 4 Solar workers are defined as those employees that spend at least 50% of their time conducting solar activities.1 Nationally, and in Arizona, about 91% of all solar workers spend 100% of their time conducting solar activities. Kann/ GTM Research, S., Mehta/ GTM Research, S., Shiao/ GTM Research, M., Honeyman/ GTM2 Research, C., Litvak/ GTM Research, N., Jones/ GTM Research, J., . . . Baca/ SEIA, J. (2013). Solar Market Insight 2013 Q3 | SEIA. Retrieved from
  5. 5. Solana CSP facility in October. Currently Arizona’s largest operating solar electric project, the Solana plant is estimated to have created more than 2,000 new jobs, and to have supported a large number of indirect jobs, since construction began in late 2010.  Given3 this construction timeline, the employment impacts of the project were likely included in our 2012 employment estimates, but absent from the 2013 figure, as the project was completed and already in operation by the time data collection for Census 2013 began. The observed employment decline may also stem in part from issues associated with a maturing state market. Much of the solar hiring in Arizona may have occurred in the early stages of market development and growth, when companies competed fiercely for market share. Perhaps in an attempt to gain a first mover’s advantage, some companies may have staffed up quickly until their market position was secured. Once established in the market, company hiring trends may have slowed or declined. Another potential cause of the job losses in Arizona, as well as in other states showing employment slumps in 2013, may be the decline or shuttering of some major international solar businesses. Such struggles or closures must have had a ripple effect throughout the solar supply chain and the “unknown universe” (those companies who may not identify as solar businesses, but do perform some solar-related activities) both domestically and abroad. Finally, the policy uncertainty that has pervaded the state until very recently may have contributed to Arizona’s poor showing in the 2013 employment figures. For much of 2013, it was evident that the state’s largest utility wished to reform its net metering policy, but it was unclear just what form the revised policy would take. Such uncertainty may have had a chilling effect on installations in some sectors, while consumers waited to learn what policy changes would ultimately occur. In addition, upfront incentives offered by the state’s investor-owned utilities for residential solar were significantly scaled back early in the year, as were performance- based incentives for commercial projects.  Slowed capacity growth in the state’s4 residential market segment is possibly a sign of these uncertainties. Even if the state met its projected 70 MW of new residential capacity by the end of 2013,  Arizona would still5 only have seen this market segment grow by 13% over the previous year. By comparison, 5 Abengoa Solar (2011). United States. Retrieved February 7, 2014, from nuestras_plantas/plantas_en_operacion/estados_unidos/. Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (2013, February 5). Arizona APS - Renewable4 Energy Incentive Program. Retrieved February 8, 2014, from Incentive_Code=AZ04F&re=1&ee=1. Kann/ GTM Research, S., Mehta/ GTM Research, S., Shiao/ GTM Research, M., Honeyman/ GTM5 Research, C., Litvak/ GTM Research, N., Jones/ GTM Research, J., . . . Baca/ SEIA, J. (2013). Solar Market Insight 2013 Q3 | SEIA. Retrieved from
  6. 6. residential capacity in the state grew by nearly 94% from 2011-2012. Furthermore, this projected residential growth rate is much lower than those expected for other leading solar markets, including California (89% projected growth), Colorado (67%), Hawaii (30%), Massachusetts (87%), and New York (50%).  Though the stunted growth in some6 Arizona market segments may be the result of policy uncertainty, it is not clear whether these markets were a source of job losses. Such uncertainty, however, appears to have prevented these market segments from more fully offsetting the declines in other areas. Whatever the causes of the observed employment decline, over a third of Arizona companies plan to add workers and about half expect to retain the same number of solar workers, with only 5% anticipating further losses through November 2014. ! Figure 1: Installed Solar Capacity—Arizona ! 6 Id.6
  7. 7. Methodology The data in this report were collected from a census of the solar industry and a representative sample of employers throughout the value chain of activities that contribute to the industry. As with the National Solar Jobs Census, this report includes information about all types of companies, from component manufacturers to installation subcontactors, engaged in the production, sale, installation, and use of all solar technologies, ranging from PV to CSP to solar water heating systems across the residential, commercial, and utility market segments. Unlike economic impact models that generate employment estimates based on economic data (such as company revenue) or jobs-per-megawatt (or jobs-per-dollar) assumptions, the National Solar Jobs Census series provides statistically valid and current data gathered from actual employers. The primary data contained in this report are drawn from a mixed-method survey administered directly to employers. Data collection occurred during October and November 2013 in two stages: (1) through a survey of so-called “known universe” establishments, and; (2) via a random sampling of businesses within various construction, sales and distribution, and manufacturing industries. For this Arizona report, 14,867 telephone calls were attempted and over 75 emails were sent to potential solar establishments across the state. This mixed approach, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes as the emerging standard given its own limitations in calculating solar employment, allows us to draw broad conclusions about the solar industry with a high degree of confidence, as well as generate accurate, local level employment estimates. More than 1,300 Arizona employers participated in the survey, resulting in 138 full survey completions. See the methodology section (5.2) for additional details. The figures included in this report are conservative estimates, meaning that there may well be more solar workers than reported herein. It is also important to mention that there are limits to the survey approach. Because the research findings are based on survey responses, the employment growth figures cited in the following sections represent employers’ best estimates of how many jobs they will add over the coming year. As seen in the National Solar Jobs Census reports, actual growth may vary. In addition, this report includes employment and demographic information at both the state legislative district level and by federal congressional district. Conducting small-sample estimation is a very challenging and labor-intensive exercise. For this study, a significant oversample of Arizona firms was required to gather enough responses to make estimates for 30 legislative districts and nine congressional districts. Analysis of these data includes constructing zip-code distribution allocations for each district in the known and unknown databases, small-area means derivation, and comparisons to labor market statistics and demographic data. The results of this rigorous work are included in the tables in Section 3.
 7 !
  8. 8. 2. Labor Market Analysis: Overview of the Industry The solar industry in Arizona accounts for 8,558 solar workers, approximately 6% of the entire national industry. This figure represents a decline in total employment of 1,242 workers (a contraction of 12.7%) from September 2012 - November 2014. Growth projections look slightly more promising through 2014, with over one-third of Arizona solar firms expecting to add employees by November 2014 (34.1%) and 5.3% expecting to shed workers statewide. Over half of all Arizona solar employers (51.5%) predict that employment will remain at 2013 levels (Figure 2). Figure 2: Employer Expectations, 12 Months—Arizona When asked about their prospects for the 12 month period through November 2014, employers reported an anticipated growth in employment of 5.6%. This represents the addition of 475 solar jobs, or 2.1% of the growth projected for solar employment in the U.S. over the same time period (by comparison, the national average projected growth rate is 15.6%). Participants were asked preliminary screener questions to determine whether they qualify for the study and to understand the various solar activities taking place across the state. Arizona solar establishments were asked to select the appropriate sector to which their firm belongs, choosing from installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development, academic, nonprofit, government, or - for those that did not fit into a category—“other,” such as establishments that provide ancillary support to the solar industry (e.g., research and development, financial or legal services) (Figure 3). 8
  9. 9. Figure 3: Percentage of Respondents by Sector Table 1: Data by Sector—Number of Solar Workers in Arizona *2013 employment in “Other” includes 13 Arizona solar workers at nonprofits, 11 in government, and 8 in academia. The majority of Arizona establishments work with photovoltaics (67.9%), which is similar to the rest of the country. While fewer firms identified water heating as a technology area that they 9 Sector 2013 Jobs 2014 Projected Employment 2013 - 2014 Expected Growth Rate Installation 3,311 3,465 4.6% Manufacturing 1,465 1,172 -20.0% Sales and Distribution 1,472 1,705 15.8% Project Development 1,874 2,152 14.8% Other* 436 540 23.7% Total 8,558 9,033 5.6% 54.5% 18.9% 9.1% 3.0% 1.5% 0.8% 0.0% 9.8% 2.3% Installation Sales / Trade Manufacturing / Assembling Project Development Nonprofit Academic Government Other (Including R&D) Don't know
  10. 10. are actively involved in, the proportion is higher than in the U.S. as a whole (37.4% versus 32.7% nationally, Figure 4). Figure 4: Solar Establishments by Technology Area As part of the Census, survey respondents were asked what percent of their overall revenues are attributable to solar, in order to determine how integral the technology is to their business and whether they are diversified in other sectors. Over half of Arizona establishments rely on solar goods and services for the majority of their revenue (54.2%), which is markedly lower than the 65.2% reported nationally (Figure 5). Figure 5: Company Revenues Attributed to Solar 10 3.8% 19.1% 13.0% 37.4% 67.9% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% DK/NA Other Concentrating solar power Water heating, which includes pool heating Photovoltaic !
  11. 11. As in the National Census, Arizona employers were queried on specific questions to determine whether the new solar workers added from 2012 to 2013 were newly created positions or represented existing employees given new solar tasks. In Arizona, 53.2% of the new solar jobs over the past year were newly created positions, considerably lower than the 76.9% reported nationally (Figure 6). When reviewing information about new positions, it is important to remember that more than 1,000 recently laid off, experienced solar workers in Arizona will fiercely compete for any new positions created by the industry in 2014. Figure 6: New Positions at Solar Establishments For Arizona establishments that reported new solar employment over the previous year, over half indicated that those hired were required to have previous work experience related to the position (52.6%). Employers were also asked about the wages paid to a subset of their workers. Arizona solar firms pay their installers approximately $18 per hour, though less than the national average among solar firms ($2 per hour less than the median wage paid nationally and $6.29 per hour less than the mean wage). Figure 7: Background of Newly Hired Solar Worker - Percent of Workers 11
  12. 12. Arizona solar firms were also asked to provide a demographic profile of their workforce, with a particular focus on women, racial and ethnic minorities, and U.S veterans. Because of the sensitive nature of these questions, the survey was careful to avoid social obligation bias; however, as documented by survey experts, some bias in such questions is inevitable. As a result, it is likely that the figures reported below are inflated by some 10 to 15%. Despite this, the demographic data do provide a general understanding of the demographic makeup of the industry and a baseline from which to track progress in future Census reports and comparison to national industry data. Overall, the solar industry in Arizona is quite diverse as seen in Figure 8 below. Figure 8: Demographic Breakdown - Overall Additionally, 1,391 (16.3%) solar workers in Arizona are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, which is a much higher rate than the national solar industry (in which veterans represent 9.2% of all solar workers). ! 12
  13. 13. 2.1 Detailed Labor Market Analysis: Installation As of November 2013, there are 318 establishments in Arizona’s installation sector, employing 3,311 solar workers (38.7% of overall Arizona solar employment and 4.8% of national solar installation employment). One-third of installation firms expect to add more workers by November 2014 (33.3%), compared to 44.4% nationally (Figure 9). This represents the addition of 154 solar installation workers, or a 4.6% growth rate over 12 months. This growth rate is considerably lower than the figure reported nationally among installation firms (21.1%). Figure 9: 12-Month Hiring Expectations—Installation Establishments As illustrated by Figure 10 below, photovoltaics dominate the Arizona installation landscape (66.7%), although water heating is also prominent in the sector (43.1%), much more so than at the national level, where only 38.5% of installation firms report working with the technology. 13
  14. 14. Figure 10: Percentage of Firms by Technology—Installation Of solar installation firms that work with photovoltaic products, the majority of establishments are engaged in small commercial installations (79.2%), residential systems (72.9%), and medium to large commercial or industrial projects (54.2%). Figure 11: Percentage of Photovoltaic Installers, by Size of Project 14
  15. 15. The vast majority of respondents in this sector attribute consumer demand to solar’s potential to save money (72.2%), as seen in Figure 12 below. Figure 12: Consumer Demand Drivers—Installers
 15 Photo Courtesy NREL
  16. 16. 2.2 Detailed Labor Market Analysis: Sales and Distribution There are 142 sales and distribution establishments in Arizona that employ approximately 1,472 solar workers, according to Census estimates. The employers in the solar sales and distribution sector sell all types of solar products and play a pivotal role in the solar supply chain. These establishments work in wholesale and retail trade of components and finished products. A majority of sales and distribution companies work with photovoltaic systems (84.0%), while 40.0% provide solar water heating equipment (Figure 13). Figure 13: Percentage of Establishments by Product Sales—Sales and Distribution Fewer sales and distribution firms in Arizona attribute all of their revenue to solar products when compared to the national average (48.0% in Arizona compared to 52.8% nationally).
  17. 17. Figure 14: Percentage of Revenue Related to Solar Products—Sales and Distribution Solar sales and distribution firms are less optimistic about future growth than the national average, with 36.0% expecting to add employment over the coming 12 months (55.3% nationally). Despite limited expectations of growth, employment in the sector is projected to increase by 15.8% in Arizona over the next year, representing the addition of 233 solar employees. Figure 15: 12 Month Hiring Expectations—Sales and Distribution Due to the limited survey response of solar firms in manufacturing, project development, and "other" (including nonprofit, academia, and government) in Arizona, statistically significant data and analyses are unavailable for these sectors. 17
  18. 18. 3. Geographic Data In addition to the statewide results, this report includes information about the distribution of solar workers across state legislative and congressional districts in Arizona, included in the maps and tables below. State Legislative Districts ! 18
  19. 19. Legislative District Total Empl. Women African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian/ Pacific Islander Veterans 1 362 78 18 102 15 62 2 163 35 8 46 7 27 3 110 23 6 32 4 20 4 9 1 1 3 0 2 5 321 70 15 89 14 54 6 346 77 16 95 15 56 7 52 11 3 15 2 9 8 45 8 3 14 1 9 9 248 50 13 73 9 46 10 80 15 5 25 2 17 11 113 23 6 33 4 21 12 333 71 17 95 14 58 13 279 59 14 80 11 49 14 229 50 11 64 10 38 15 529 118 24 144 24 85 16 132 26 7 40 5 25 17 246 54 12 69 11 41 18 517 117 23 139 24 81 19 280 63 13 76 13 45 20 278 60 13 77 12 47 21 173 36 9 50 7 31 22 148 31 8 43 6 27 23 843 197 35 220 41 124 24 343 80 14 89 17 50 25 373 81 18 104 16 63 26 675 159 27 174 33 97 27 452 103 20 121 21 70 28 668 154 28 176 32 101 29 106 22 5 30 4 19 30 107 22 5 31 4 19 Total 8557 1894 394 2349 378 1391 % of Total AZ Solar Workforce 100% 22.1% 4.6% 27.5% 4.4% 16.3% 19
  20. 20. Legislative District Representative Representative Senator Total Empl. 23 Kavanagh, John Ugenti, Micelle Reagan, Michele 843 26 Sherwood, Andrew Mendez, Juan Ableser, Ed 675 28 Brophy McGee, Kate Meyer, Eric Driggs, Adam 668 15 Carter, Heather Allen, John Barto, Nancy 529 18 Dial, Jeff Robson, Bob McComish, John 517 27 Gallego, Ruben Miranda, Catherine H. Landrum Taylor, Leah 452 25 Olson, Justin Pierce, Justin Worsley, Bob 373 1 Fann, Karen Tobin, Andy Pierce, Steve 362 6 Barton, Brenda Thorpe, bob Crandell, Chester 346 24 Campbell, Chad Alston, Lela Hobbs, Katie 343 12 Petersen, Warren Farnsworth, Eddie Biggs, Andy 333 5 Borrelli, Sonny Goodales, Doris Ward, Kelli 321 19 Contreras, Lupe Chavira Cardenas, Mark A. Tovar, Anna 280 13 Montenegro, Steve Michell, Darin Shooter, Don 279 20 Boyer, Paul Seel, Carl Yee, Kimberly 278 9 Orr, Ethan Steele, Victoria Farley, Steve 248 17 Forese, Thomas Mesnard, Javan "J.D." Yarbrough, Steve 246 14 Gowan Sr., David M. Stevens, David M. Griffin, Gail 229 21 Gray, Rick Lesko, Debbie Murphy, Rick 173 2 Gabaldón, Rosanna Dalessandro, Andrea 163 22 Lovas, Phil Livingston, David Burges, Judy 148 16 Townsend, Kelly Coleman, Doug Farnsworth, David 132 11 Kwasman, Adam Smith, Steve Melvin, Al 113 3 Gonzales, Sally Ann Saldate IV, Macario Cajero Bedford, Olivia 110 30 Larkin, Jonathan McCune Davis, Debbie Meza, Robert 107 29 Quezada, Martin J. Hernández, Lydia Gallardo, Steve 106 10 Mach, Stefanie Wheeler, Bruce Bradley, David 80 7 Peshlakai, Jamescita Hale, Albert Begay, Carlyle 52 8 Pratt, Frank Shope, T.J. McGuire, Barbara 45 4 Escamilla, Juan Carlos Otondo, Lisa Pancrazi, Lynne 9 Total 8557 20
  21. 21. Federal Congressional Districts ! Congress. District Legislator Total Empl. Women African American Latino/ Hispanic Asian/ Pacific Islander Veterans 1 Kirkpatrick, Ann 934 205 44 259 40 155 2 Barber, Ron 487 96 27 149 17 95 3 Grijalva, Raul 475 102 23 135 20 82 4 Gosar, Paul A. 1036 224 50 291 44 175 5 Salmon, Matt 986 212 48 278 41 168 6 Schweikert, David 2835 648 122 754 133 434 7 Pastor, Ed 1415 324 61 375 67 215 8 Franks, Trent 239 50 12 69 9 43 9 Sinema, Kyrsten 150 34 7 40 7 23 Total 8557 1894 394 2349 378 1391 21
  22. 22. 4.0 Conclusions Given the employment and other struggles facing the Arizona solar industry over the last year, many will be watching the state closely over the next several years to see whether or not it can retain its position as the second-largest solar market and employer of solar workers. Installation forecasts show new annual PV capacity continuing to decline through 2015. However, much of this overall decline will be driven by a far lower amount of new utility-scale capacity coming online than was installed in either of the last two years. Over the same period, new residential solar capacity is expected to increase at a significantly higher rate than that projected for 2012-2013. Because utility-scale projects have a lower labor intensity (i.e., fewer jobs supported per MW) than residential installations, employment growth resulting from capacity additions in the latter market segment could help offset lower employment levels arising from a decline in new utility- scale installations. Regardless of the factors involved, Arizona solar employers remain optimistic about future job growth, anticipating the addition of 475 workers (5.6% growth) over the next year. Only a thorough reinvestigation of state solar employment at the end of 2014 will reveal how companies in Arizona have ultimately fared. ! The Arizona Census also found that the state solar industry employs a larger than average proportion of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces than the national solar industry. Approximately one in six Arizona solar workers (16.3%) have served in the military, though statewide, U.S. veterans under 65 (those most likely to be working or seeking work) only represent 9.7% of the state’s total civilian labor force. The Arizona solar industry’s employment of veterans also compares favorably with the national solar industry as a whole, in which 9.2% of solar workers were found to be former service members. Identifying the causes behind the relatively high employment rate of veterans in the state solar industry is a subject for further research. However, The Solar Foundation®, in partnership with the Truman National Security Project’s “Operation Free” campaign, seeks to take on a related effort—designed to understand how skills developed in military occupations transfer over to jobs in the solar industry—which may provide some insight into the factors driving the high veteran employment rate observed in the Arizona solar industry. ! If you find this Arizona Census to be useful, please don't hesitate to make a tax- deductible donation to The Solar Foundation®. Each donation, no matter the size, helps us provide credible research that deepens our understanding of the industry and drives the market. More information at 
  23. 23. ! 5. Appendices 5.1 Data Sources ! EMSI Data Sources and Calculations Industry Data ! In order to capture a complete picture of industry employment, EMSI basically combines covered employment data from Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) produced by the Department of Labor with total employment data in Regional Economic Information System (REIS) published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), augmented with County Business Patterns (CBP) and Nonemployer Statistics (NES) published by the U.S. Census Bureau. Projections are based on the latest available EMSI industry data, 15-year past local trends in each industry, growth rates in statewide and (where available) sub-state area industry projections published by individual state agencies, and (in part) growth rates in national projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. ! State Data Sources ! This report uses state data from the following agencies: Arizona Labor Market Information Department. ! ! !! ! 23
  24. 24. 5.2 Data Limitations and Methodology The Arizona Solar Jobs Census methodology is most closely aligned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ methodology for its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES).  Like BLS, this study uses survey questionnaires and employer-reported data, though ours are administered by phone and email, as opposed to mail. ! Also like BLS, we develop a hierarchy of various categories that represent solar value chain activities (within their broader NAICS framework), develop representative sample frames, and use statistical analysis and extrapolation in a very similar manner to BLS.  We also constrain our universe of establishments by relying on the most recent data from the BLS or the state departments of labor, depending on which is collected most recently.  We believe that the categories that we have developed could be readily adopted by BLS should it choose to begin to quantify solar employment in its QCEW and CES series. ! The survey was administered to a known universe of solar employers that includes approximately 535 establishments and is derived from SEIA’s National Solar Database as well as other public and private sources. Of these establishments, 99 provided information about their solar activities (or lack thereof), and 53 completed full or substantially completed surveys. ! The Arizona survey was also administered to a stratified, clustered, random sampling from various industries that are potentially solar-related that include a total of 5,339 establishments in Arizona. After an extensive cleaning and de-duplication process, a sampling plan was developed that gathered information on the level of solar activity (including none) from 1,223 establishments. Of these, 85 establishments qualified for and completed full surveys. This level of sampling rigor provides a margin of error for establishment counts at +/-2.36% and employment at +/-7.34% at a 95% confidence interval. For a fuller description of the methodology, please see the National Solar Jobs Census 2013 available at ! It is of further importance to note that the figures provided in this report are estimates based on surveys administered only to employers in installation, manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development and “other” establishments in research and development, legal services, finance and accounting, academia, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other ancillary employers that do solar work. Data for the “other” category do not capture all jobs or establishments in the category. Although some “other” establishments are included in the Known Universe, accounting, legal, finance, and other ancillary establishments spend only a very small portion of their time on solar activities. Thus, full inclusion would lead to inflated employment counts. ! 24
  25. 25. 5.3 Frequently Asked Questions 1. Are these "Direct Jobs" only? Direct, indirect, and induced are terms intended to explain the various levels of economic activity that result from changes to an economy.  These figures, generated by economic modeling exercises, are best applied to specific projects rather than entire industries.  For example, a utility scale solar project would have a certain number of people working on the construction of the plant (direct), the workers who manufacture and deliver the goods (indirect), and support the local economy by increasing the spending on goods and services, such as restaurants, gas stations, and retail establishments (induced).   Census data includes most of the direct and indirect jobs in the solar industry, with the exception of some indirect jobs in the component and materials supply chain. 2. How does your methodology compare with the Bureau of Labor Statistics? The Census methodology is most closely aligned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ methodology for its Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) and Current Employment Statistics (CES). Like BLS, this study uses survey questionnaires and employer- reported data, though ours are administered by phone and email, as opposed to mail. Also like BLS, we develop a hierarchy of various categories that represent solar value chain activities (within their broader NAICS framework), develop representative sample frames, and use statistical analysis and extrapolation in a very similar manner to BLS.   We also constrain our universe of establishments by relying on the most recent data from the BLS or the state departments of labor, depending on which is collected most recently.   We believe that the categories that we have developed could be readily adopted by BLS should it choose to begin to quantify solar employment in its QCEW and CES series. 3. How is a solar worker defined? A "solar worker" is defined as those workers who spend at least 50% of their time supporting solar-related activities.  This definition helps to avoid the over-counting that is inherent in7 methods that count every single job in terms of FTEs or job hours. For example, although the BLS does not yet quantify solar jobs, they count other types of occupations by counting every single job separately regardless of hours or fraction of time actually spent on the job. As a result, according to the BLS, someone with three part-time jobs yields three jobs. Although the BLS and others consider our methodology to be the emerging standard for tracking jobs they do not yet track, critics of our methodology claim a 50% definition causes jobs to be over counted. However, the reality is that over 90% of those who meet our definition of a solar worker in 2013 nationally actually spend 100% of their time supporting solar-related activities. Because the Census covers sectors directly related to new installed solar capacity and the sectors that support these efforts, jobs figures are best thought of as covering direct and indirect jobs. ! 25 In Arizona, 91.4% of all solar workers spend 100% of their time on solar activities.7
  26. 26. 4. What is the minimum education necessary to enter the solar job field? While there exist entry-level positions for individuals interested in entering certain solar job fields, there is not always an immediate pathway into these jobs. Of the employers who participated in the Arizona Solar Jobs Census, 52.6% indicated that they look for previous related experience in the solar workers they hire. In addition, 7.2% noted they require at least an associate’s degree or certificate from an accredited college and 4.1% seek workers with a bachelor’s degree or beyond. Those interested in beginning a career in the solar industry can learn more about the education, experience, and skills required for these jobs by visiting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Career Map at http:// ! ! More FAQs about the Census methodology and national results are available in the National Solar Jobs Census 2013, available at ! ! 26
  27. 27. ! 6. Solar Employment in Other States Due to the immense investment of time and funding required to do so accurately with a survey-based methodology, the Census report series does not directly provide estimates of solar employment in each of the 50 states. In early 2013, The Solar Foundation® published its first-ever State Solar Jobs Map (, an interactive, web-based tool presenting the most credible estimates of state-level jobs currently known. These figures were internally generated by The Solar Foundation® with technical assistance from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Research Department using thousands of data points from a combination of high-quality sources, including survey results from National Solar Jobs Census Series and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s “National Solar Database.” These state employment figures were produced using a carefully developed dual methodology—one for installation and construction jobs and another for distributed generation and non-installation jobs. In brief, method one employed labor intensity multipliers developed internally and cross checked with leading studies on the subject, while method two was based not only on a direct count of solar workers, but also the average number of jobs per solar establishment and total number of establishments in each state. The final state totals provided are the rounded average of our high and low estimates. Updated state-level employment estimates were made available through The Solar Foundation’s® State Solar Jobs Map website ( on February 11th, 2014. 27
  28. 28. ! Copyright Notice ! Unless otherwise noted, all design, text, graphics, and the selection and arrangement thereof are Copyright February 2014 by The Solar Foundation® and BW Research Partnership. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials in this report, including reproduction, modification, distribution, or republication, without the prior written consent of The Solar Foundation® and BW Research Partnership, is strictly prohibited. ! ! Please cite this publication when referencing this material as “Arizona Solar Jobs Census 2013, The Solar Foundation, available at ”