Fox Cherry-Picks Solar Stat To Degrade Growing Green SectorNovember 20, 2012 12:02 PM EST ››› MAX GREENBERG
Fox News is using a recent report that solar companies are having trouble finding qualified workers to suggest that the country isn't "ready to go green." But employers in other sectors claim similar issues, and the stat is cherry-picked from a report that outlines many promising signs in the industry, including the fact that solar jobs have grown nearly six times faster than the rest of the economy.
Fox & Friends First and Fox Nation are promoting a recent finding that 63 percent of solar companies said it was somewhat or very difficult to find qualified applicants to fill open positions to suggest that the country might not be "ready to go green":
But the finding comes from a recent report by the independent Solar Foundation, which also found that employment in the solar industry grew over 13 percent from August 2011 to September this year, equivalent to nearly six times the national average employment growth rate over the same period. It is expected to grow by 17 percent over the next year. Only 6 percent of employers reported a lack of trained workers as a major barrier to solar growth.
Furthermore, solar firms that report some difficulty finding qualified applicants aren't saying anything markedly different than employers in other industries.
A 2012 survey by the Manpower Group, a major human resource consulting firm, found that "just under half of American employers reported they had trouble filling jobs, with 44 percent citing lack of experience as a major factor. CEOs and college presidents surveyed for a 2011 study supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce mentioned similar issues, with 53 percent claiming that "their companies face a very or fairly major challenge in recruiting nonmanagerial employees with the skills, training, and education their company needs."
And according to the Manufacturing Institute, a think tank associated with the National Association of Manufacturers, 67 percent of manufacturers have reported a shortage of qualified workers.
Once again, presented with proof of an industry on the upswing, subject to the same conditions as the rest of the economy -- and by some indications doing better -- Fox sees only further "evidence" of clean energy's folly.