Renewable Energy and Unemployment: Are They Linked?

Several years ago I found a correlation between the amount renewable electricity in a state and its unemployment rate. Specifically, low unemployment seemed to go with large amounts of renewable electricity. Now the correlation is much less clear. There are two families of states:

Iowa and Minnesota have more than 15 percent renewable electricity and unemployment rates under ten percent.

The other eight states surveyed have less than seven percent renewable electricity and unemployment rates from six to nine percent. There is no clear trend for the eight states. Among them, Ohio has the least renewable electricity and an average unemployment rate.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT AND RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY COMPARED

State

Renewable Electricity, %

Unemployment, %

Iowa

27.90

4.4

Minnesota

19.80

4.6

Wisconsin

6.82

6.3

Michigan

5.70

8.8

Illinois

4.84

8.7

Kentucky

4.07

8.2

West Virginia

4.05

6.1

Indiana

3.58

7.3

Missouri

2.74

6.1

Ohio

1.73

7.4

 

Sources: Electricity Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly, Dec. 2013 (data for Oct. 2013); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Dec. 20, 2013 (data for Nov. 2013)

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