The impact of rapid decarbonization on jobs
Rapidly decarbonizing the U.S. economy entails both job creation from scaling up low-carbon infrastructure and job losses from phasing out fossil fuels. Labor markets play a critical role in planning, policy, and decision-making processes related to reducing carbon emissions. Moreover, the supply, productivity, and disposition of labor, in addition to public and private support and concern regarding employment, has the potential to accelerate or constrain the rate of decarbonization. This project develops and demonstrates a modeling framework to estimate the geographic distribution of the employment effects over time of pathways to achieve a net-zero emissions economy in the United States. It will take into account trends in automation, labor economies of scale, labor bottlenecks, boom-and-bust cycles, and international supply chains. This work additionally estimates the requisite skills and training of the labor force, and identifies employment factors that have the potential to accelerate or delay the rate of decarbonization.
Erin Mayfield; Eric Larson; Chris Greig; Jesse Jenkins