Number of green jobs fall from 2022 levels, PwC Barometer finds


green jobs

The number of green jobs advertised in the UK has fallen from the record levels recorded in 2022, although at a smaller rate than the decline seen in the UK’s job market overall, PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer finds.

The number of total advertised roles fell by 29%, while the number of green jobs fell by 26%, according to the latest research by PwC. Green jobs have also seen their share of the UK labour market increase to 2.3%, up from 2.2% in 2022 and 1.9% in 2021.

PwC’s Green Jobs Barometer, now in its third year, has identified for the first time that green jobs “tend to be higher quality jobs”, which reflects both higher levels of pay and greater levels of job satisfaction compared to non-green roles.

The Barometer has also detected a “pay premium” with 60% of occupations commanding a 23% pay premium on average for entry-level green roles. However, the research highlighted that green jobs tend to require longer working hours and are slightly more likely than non-green roles to be based on temporary employment contracts.

Scotland leads in green job creation in the UK, with 4.04% of all jobs advertised considered as green (up from 3.3% last year), compared with 2.32% for the UK as a whole. Northern Ireland also performs well, but from a comparatively small base, 2.4% this year compared to 1.9% in 2022.

A drop in the number of advertised roles is concerning given the scale of what needs to be achieved.

Despite London advertising for over 10,000 fewer green jobs than last year, the capital maintained its lead over the other regions by number of jobs, seeking to fill a total of 45,219 roles and having the second-highest regional increase in the proportion of green jobs to other jobs. London and the South East show the largest absolute number of vacancies, accounting for 33% of all new green job postings in the UK.

However, five of the twelve UK regions (South East, East Midlands, Wales, North East, East of England) saw the number of green jobs advertised fall at a greater rate than the fall in all jobs advertised in their region. PwC says this suggests that green job opportunities are increasingly concentrated in certain regions.

PwC says its new analysis shows access to green jobs “remains unevenly spread” by background. Compared to the labour market overall, green jobs tend to be concentrated in “white collar” roles and require a higher level of education at a degree level or equivalent.

Green jobs
PwC says its new analysis shows access to green jobs “remains unevenly spread” by background.

In Scotland, London and the South East, almost 40% of green jobs advertised require a university degree or equivalent experience.

Workers from Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds are underrepresented in green roles compared to their share of the labour market overall. For example in London, where workers from these communities account for 36% of the workforce they account for only 30% of workers in green jobs.

A significant proportion of the rise in green jobs has been driven by roles requiring a background in science, technology and maths (STEM), which are subjects that traditionally under-represent women.

Carl Sizer, Head of Regions and Platforms at PwC, commented: “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.”

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