Solar jobs outnumber ranchers in Texas, actors in California

There are more solar energy workers in Texas than there are ranchers. In California, they outnumber actors, and nationwide, America has more solar workers than coal miners.

Those stats come from solar research group The Solar Foundation, which rolled out a map last week showing which states have the most solar jobs. Unsurprisingly, sunny states like California and Arizona are near the top of the list. But some Northern states like New Jersey and Michigan -- not known for their splendid weather -- also show a high number of solar jobs.

What those states lack in climate they make up for in high electricity prices and favorable tax and regulatory policies, which attracts solar developers, said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation.

Solar supporters are going on the offensive about their field's jobs angle. The industry receives considerable government support, and talking about its employment advantages broadens the conversation beyond global warming.

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