Energy sector employment exceeds pre-pandemic levels: IEA

It may increase by 6% in 2022.

Employment in the energy sector “recovered strongly” despite the widespread layoffs due to the pandemic and is set to rise further as markets and companies pick up the pace of their decarbonisation moves.

In a report, the International Energy Agency said the energy sector employed more than 65 million people in 2019, accounting for around 2% of the total global employment, 21 million of which were in fuel supply, 20 million in the power sector, and 24 million in end users such as energy efficiency and vehicle manufacturing.

Total energy employment in 2021 rose by around 1.3 million from 2019 and could increase by 6% this year, the IEA said, noting that clean energy accounts for all of the growth in energy employment.

“All drivers of energy employment are set to rise in 2022, but the turbulence afoot in global markets is reshaping which regions are seeing investment and how much of the increased economic activity flows to workers,” the report read.

“Total energy demand also climbed higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2021, with increased production driving a greater need for workers,” it said.

READ MORE: Employment in Japan’s energy storage industry to focus on senior positions: report

The agency added that fossil fuel employment is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels only this year.

It added that hiring gaps and tight labour markets resulted in supply chain disruptions and project delays, especially in offshore wind, oil and gas, and energy efficiency retrofits.

“Today’s global energy crisis could prompt governments and industry to rethink their global supply chain exposures especially vis-à-vis dependence on Russia’s fossil fuels. This may portend another few years of larger-than-normal shifts in energy employment,” it said.

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