American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the start of 2016—an increase of 20 per cent in a year—according to the U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report, Year Ending 2015, released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The job growth in 2015 is primarily attributable to more wind project development and construction, requiring more than 38,000 employees.
The industry also experienced a stabilisation of its manufacturing sector, which now supports over 21,000 jobs across 43 states, up over 10 per cent in a year. And more than 8,800 jobs are held by wind turbine technicians, the fastest growing profession in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (growing more than twice as fast as the next fastest-growing job of occupational therapy assistant). Texas leads the nation with over 24,000 wind energy employees. Wind project construction propelled Oklahoma to second place with more than 7,000 jobs. Rounding out the top five are Iowa and Colorado with over 6,000 jobs, and after moving up 11 spots, Kansas ranks fifth with over 5,000 wind workers. Maine gained the most in the state wind employment rankings, rising 16 spots. Across the USA wind has attracted US$ 128 billion in new wind project investment over the last 10 years.