1. Introduction

Our “Green jobs”, current and upcoming work: March 2022 article outlined the importance of green jobs for the UK. This also outlined our current work on green jobs and future developments.

This article provides an update, and our planned green jobs statistics outputs as of September 2022, including:

  • developing new estimates as part of our dedicated project on green jobs and our Defining and Measuring Green Jobs Survey
  • improving our existing estimates
  • publishing research articles
  • continuing engagement with our users

We welcome comments on our proposed work plan and any suggestions for research and development that would increase the value of our statistics to stakeholders. Please email environment.accounts@ons.gov.uk to provide feedback.

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2. Green jobs project update

As explained in our previous release, our dedicated Green Jobs Project is funded by HM Treasury’s Economic Data Innovation Fund.

Through this, we have committed to gather as many perspectives as possible from stakeholders, to help overcome some of the challenges of defining a "green job" and to work towards producing experimental estimates.

We published our Defining and Measuring Green Jobs Survey, on 11 August 2022. Stakeholders will be able to respond to the survey until 6 October 2022, when the survey closes.

The survey seeks views on current and/or expected future uses for green jobs estimates.

We are asking our users for their preferred green jobs definition and ways to frame them. We are also asking which breakdowns of our green jobs estimates would be most useful.

We will publish an analysis of the responses to the survey by the end of 2022. This will allow us to continue our work to provide:

  • a clear definition or definitions of green jobs
  • experimental statistics measuring green jobs, using these definitions
  • initial analytical outputs
  • a work programme for embedding statistics into standard output cycles

When we produce our definition or definitions and our experimental statistics, we will share our full methodology. This will outline how they might best be used and will also include how the data can be disaggregated to effectively meet many user needs. We will also include an assessment of the strengths and limitations of the estimates.

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3. Improving existing estimates

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces two independent, annual estimates for two different potential interpretations of green jobs, based on user needs and statistical best practice:

We will continue to develop our methodology for these two sets of estimates. This includes reviewing our EGSS estimates of activity by environmental charities, including employment. We will update our users on any methodological changes as these are made.

We have also reviewed and updated our Environmental Protection Expenditure (EPE) estimates, based on the EPE Survey and the EPE accounts. EPE estimates give an indication of business, government and household activity centred on preventing, reducing, and eliminating the degradation of the environment. We may be able to provide data on green jobs via EPE in coming years, as these estimates are further developed.

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4. Published research

As outlined in “Green jobs”, current and upcoming work: March 2022, we committed to and have since published a number of research articles, which centre around green jobs and green tasks.

Research into "green jobs": time spent doing green tasks, UK, 1997 to 2019 was published on 7 March 2022. It uses the US Occupational Information Network (O*NET) framework to look at the time workers spend on green tasks in the UK, and how this has changed over time.

Comparing environmental economy estimates, UK was published on 21 March 2022. It compares the methodology for the two sets of estimates. This includes similarities and differences in coverage, how the estimates are calculated, and how to understand what the data show. It also covers the methodology for employment and other variables.

"Nature jobs" using environmental goods and services sector data: 2019 was published on 21 March 2022. This article assesses what the environmental goods and services sector (EGSS) framework shows about “nature jobs” in the UK for 2010 to 2019, and opportunities for further research.

Exploring regional estimates of activity in the low carbon and renewable energy economy, UK, 2019 and 2020 was published on 14 April 2022. It looks at methods to estimate turnover and employment in the low carbon and renewable energy economy (LCREE) in the UK by combining data from the LCREE Survey and the Inter-Departmental Business Register, including estimates for UK countries and different regions of England. These complement the UK country-level estimates that we already publish in LCREE.

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5. Collaboration and engagement

We are dedicated to working collaboratively across central and devolved government and with external stakeholders.

We have therefore developed an engagement plan to ensure the data and statistics we produce continue to be useful to analysts and researchers, as well as other users.

As well as engaging with wider stakeholders, we have established a regular meeting group to discuss progress and development in the green jobs area, which brings together stakeholders from across central and devolved governments.

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6. Provide feedback

We welcome any stakeholder feedback on the green jobs project, including research articles and the estimates discussed in this publication. You can email us at environment.accounts@ons.gov.uk.

Our Defining and Measuring Green Jobs Survey closes on 6 October 2022.

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7. Cite this release

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 16 September 2022, ONS website, article, "Green Jobs" update, current and upcoming work: September 2022.

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Contact details for this Article

Chris Hatton and Gemma Thomas
Telephone: +44 1633 456660