Frequently Asked Questions

What is a clean job?

Is a clean job the same as a green job?

What are the sources of the data?

How do you validate the data?

How often do you update the data?

How is this data valuable?

Who should use this Index?

Do you have permission to use the data?

Is this a temporary project?

Do you believe the findings can have an impact on policy?

How should states decipher and share this data?

Why do some states perform so much better than others?

Is the data objective?

Are you qualified to analyze this data?

Why did Ecotech Institute develop this Index?

How is the Clean Jobs Index different from similar services?


What is a clean job?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), green jobs are either: (1) Jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or (2) jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources (http://www.bls.gov/green/).

Instead of "green," we are calling these jobs "clean."

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Is a clean job the same as a green job?

In our Index, yes. We utilize the BLS green jobs definition for all of our listed jobs.

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What are the sources of the data?

Our jobs data comes from Burning Glass, whose patented job aggregation technology searches for job listings from over 17,000 sources, including employer websites, job boards, newspapers, and government agencies. LEED project data comes from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Other data sources include expert government and non-government sources such as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

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How do you validate the data?

We only utilize data from respected, authoritative sources and do not alter it in any way. All of our data is pre-validated by its source.

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How often do you update the data?

We update jobs data monthly. Other data is updated as source updates become available, usually quarterly or annually. We refresh our LEED data from the USGBC quarterly.

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How is this data valuable?

Although each individual data set is valuable in its own right, we have combined all of these sources and applied our own weighted ranking system to allow users and job seekers to comparatively rank states on 10 clean job and lifestyle indicators.

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Who should use this Index?

  • Job seekers
  • Anyone looking to move to a different state
  • Anyone who wants to know how their state compares to other states
  • Anyone interested in how clean policies affect clean jobs
  • Anyone wanting to live healthier and happier
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Do you have permission to use the data?

Yes. All of our data is publicly available and we clearly reference (and thank!) our expert sources.

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Is this a temporary project?

This web project is designed to be an ongoing and continually useful tool.

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Do you believe the findings can have an impact on policy?

We believe this tool will be invaluable to future policy makers. For example, if a state implements an incentive or policy affecting clean jobs, our database should reflect the actual increase or decrease of clean jobs over time in that state. The Clean Jobs Index can be an invaluable “ground-truthing” tool to validate high-level policies.

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How should states decipher and share this data?

As all of our data sources are transparent, we encourage states to fact check their own results. We hope that high-ranking states will utilize our tool to promote the benefits of clean jobs and clean lifestyles, while lower-ranking states may see a clear route to future competitiveness via our maps.

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Why do some states perform so much better than others?

In order to perform well in our ranking system, a state must have clean energy incentives, infrastructure, and practices. They must also have actual clean energy jobs. Not all states excel in all of these areas, but we believe they are all critical to a sustainable clean lifestyle.

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Is the data objective?

The only filter we apply to our data is the BLS definition of green jobs; that is, we call them "clean" jobs. All other data is unfiltered and unaltered in any way.

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Are you qualified to analyze this data?

All of our data comes from external authoritative sources. We contracted with an expert Geographic Information Systems (GIS) firm, SICS Consultants, to advise us in our design and to develop the interactive maps that comprise the Index.

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Why did Ecotech Institute develop this Index?

Originally envisioned as a way to help Ecotech Institute students obtain jobs, we quickly realized that the Index was much bigger than Ecotech Institute and could provide a valuable service to job seekers, researchers and other interested individuals.

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How is the Clean Jobs Index different from similar services?

Other comparative state ranking systems tend to report either jobs or some kind of environmental measurement. To our knowledge, we are the first to include actual current jobs data into a comparative state ranking system using multiple, clean lifestyle indicators.

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