The number of jobs in the US solar industry dropped by 3.2 percent in 2018, a second year of losses, as the Trump administration's tariffs on foreign panels and state-level policy changes hit demand for installations, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.
The job losses reflect how changing trade and environmental policies can alter the trajectory of an industry that was among the fastest-growing segments of the US energy industry.
The number of solar energy workers fell by 8,000 to 242,000 in 2018, according to the Solar Jobs Census, released annually by the non-profit research firm The Solar Foundation, following a loss of 10,000 jobs in 2017.
But jobs are expected to rise next year, the report said.
In early 2018, President Donald Trump imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels to boost domestic manufacturing, the opening salvo in what has become a wide-ranging trade war.
The move led developers to cancel or freeze billions of dollars of investments in large-installation projects because most of the solar panels used in the United States are made abroad.