Last week the Intergovernmental 'International Renewable Energy Agency' released its '2016 Annual Review of Renewable Energy and Jobs'.

In case you're wondering: it didn't provide a breakdown for Canada but nonetheless had quite a bit for the United States (page 12).

It showed that jobs in US renewable energy grew 6 percent in 2015 to 769,000 people. Much of that growth was in the solar sector which registered a 22 percent increase with total employment at year end of 209,000.  Wind industry employment grew 21 percent over the year and ended at 88,000. 

Wondering how this compares with non-renewables? Quite well according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (page 28). In April of this year there were 55,900 employed in the US coal mining industry and 173,900 in oil and gas extraction. Think we missed oil refining? There were also 114,300 in 'Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing: Petroleum and Coal Products'. Meanwhile the Nuclear industry estimates that 100,000 "contributed to production in the nuclear energy industry".

In summary: 769,000 in renewables and 444,100 in nuclear, oil, gas & coal mining + processing. Since a picture pains a thousand words: here's the picture;

Source: The International Renewable Energy Agency 'Renewable Energy and Jobs. Annual Review 2016'. US Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 Release. The Nuclear Energy Institute 'Economic Growth and Job Creation'.

Not bad when you consider that in 2014 renewables provided 9.6 percent of total US energy vs. oil, gas, coal and nuclear which provided the remainder (90.4 percent).

Source: US Energy Information Administration 'Primary Energy Consumption by Source and Sector - 2014'.

Keep that in mind the next time someone in the hydrocarbon or nuclear industry claims that renewable energy destroys jobs.