Who’s fit for the low-carbon transition? Emerging skills and wage gaps in job ad data


What are low-carbon jobs and where are they emerging? What skills are needed to fill these roles and are they already present in the labour force in the right locations? Do low-carbon jobs pay a good wage? How can we ensure workers in jobs at risk from the low-carbon transition are not left behind? This report provides a detailed characterisation of low-carbon jobs from the last decade in the United States and the United Kingdom. It brings new evidence to support policy discussions. The report draws out the characteristics of low-carbon jobs in general, and aspects that are driven by distinctive national patterns. It summarises findings from a recent Grantham Research Institute working paper by Saussay et al. (2022) that uses online job vacancy data to develop a novel methodology to precisely identify low-carbon jobs and characterise the skill requirements and other attributes of low-carbon jobs in the US between 2010 and 2019. It then presents and compares these findings with new results from a similar analysis on the UK carried out for the period 2012 to 2021. The job advertisement data combined with methods developed in this research offer a powerful toolkit for understanding the changing demand for skills in the low-carbon transition and quantifying reallocation costs associated with reskilling.