PwC: Green jobs show greater resiliency amid falling UK job listings

PwC’s latest Green Jobs Barometer has found that green job listings have fallen by 26% compared to the record levels recorded in 2022. In comparison, the number of total advertised roles in the UK in 2023 has fallen by 29%.

PwC states that the green sector has experienced a smaller decline than the overall market, which has been hampered by high interest rates and a challenging economic backdrop.

The Barometer notes that the resiliency of the green job market has seen its share of the UK labour market increase to 2.3% – up from 1.9% recorded in 2021. However, PwC warns that the decrease in overall demand for green jobs poses challenges for the UK’s efforts to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

PwC’s head of regions and platforms Carl Sizer, said: “Green jobs are a good proxy for the greening of the economy. That green jobs account for a growing proportion of the jobs market is encouraging, but we need to see a significant increase in new green jobs to meet net-zero goals. A drop in the number of advertised roles is concerning given the scale of what needs to be achieved.

“It’s more important than ever to ensure that the transition towards a low-carbon economy brings workers and communities with it. Our research also points to the benefits of green jobs for workers, with better pay and job satisfaction, but highlights different sectors and regions that stand to be affected differently. A concerted effort will be needed to spread the benefits of green jobs and a green economy.”

The Green Jobs Barometer resource tracks advertisements for new roles to assess how many support the UK’s transition to a clean energy system and to conserving and restoring the natural environment. Included in the definition of green jobs are those in renewable energy, electric vehicles, low-carbon hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, energy efficiency and nature-based solutions, among other fields.

It found that Scotland is the best-performing region in the UK in terms of green job creation, with 4% of advertised jobs considered green – up from 3.3% last year and more than the UK average of 2.32%.

White collar roles

The Barometer does not that access to green jobs is uneven. Compared to the labour market overall, green jobs tend to be concentrated in “white collar” roles and require a higher level of education at degree level or equivalent.

PwC has also identified that green jobs tend to offer higher levels of pay and greater levels of job satisfaction compared to the rest of the market. The Barometer found that even entry-level green jobs attract a pay premium, with 60% of occupations commanding a 23% pay premium on average for entry-level green roles.

In 2022, almost three times as many ‘green’ jobs were advertised in the UK in 2022 than in 2021, according to PwC. PwC has recorded a jump from around 124,600 to around 336,800 individual green job adverts. This rate of growth is around quadruple that for all job postings.

Earlier this year, the Hiring Trends Index report, a quarterly survey of 1,011 human resources (HR) decision-makers conducted by Totaljobs, found that the demand for green jobs such as sustainability management, engineering and consulting has increased by 667% in the last four years.

It found that more than one-fifth (23%) of businesses were actively expanding their workforce with new “green roles” to address the surge in demand. Among larger corporations, this proportion increases to more than two-fifths (43%).

Comments (1)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Do we have a definition of a “Green Job”???
    Even a slightly loose one. It seems to be an area in which the edges are particularly blurred, and claims proliferate.

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