(Reuters) - The U.S. solar industry lost nearly 10,000 jobs last year, led by steep losses in mature markets like California and Massachusetts where installation growth has slowed, according to a new report published on Wednesday.
It was the first time employment has contracted in the fast-growing industry since the non-profit research firm The Solar Foundation began tracking solar jobs in 2010.
Nationwide, solar employment fell 3.8 percent to 250,271 jobs in 2017 from a high of 260,077 in 2016. A drop in both utility-scale and residential solar installations, as well as industry jitters about tariffs on imported solar panels, were to blame for the decline, the report said.
Employment in the solar industry far outpaces that of the coal, wind and nuclear energy industries, the report said, citing federal jobs data.