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'Green' jobs top 3 million

March 23, 2012: 7:50 AM ET

Green jobsKermit has more company lately.

There were 3.1 million green jobs in the U.S. in 2010, or about 2.4% of the nation's employment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released its first tally of jobs associated with producing green goods and services. The Obama administration has been pushing green jobs as a way to stimulate the economy and generate job growth. He's set aside billions of dollars to promote the industry, including $100 billion in the 2009 stimulus program.

BLS is classifying green jobs as those associated with producing goods or providing services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. Later this year, it will look at jobs in which workers' duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly.

California has the largest number of green jobs at 338,400, or 2.3% of the state's employment. Vermont had the highest share of green jobs at 4.4%.

The private sector had 2.3 million green jobs, while the public sector had 860,000.

The utilities industry -- which includes nuclear and hydroelectric power generation -- has the highest share of green jobs, at nearly 12%, while the construction industry comes in second at 6.8%. Some 5.3% of federal government jobs are green.

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