The rise of roles within the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) industries have offered numerous job opportunities to recent graduates, which helps buttress President Biden’s already nebulous claims of job growth under his economic policies. These positions, such as sustainability coordinators, DEI officers, and “people partners,” are tasking graduates with calculating corporate greenhouse gas emissions and upholding progressive cultural standards.

However, the value of these jobs within our economy is a subject of debate. They’re among the fastest growing roles, yet these positions lack meaningful productivity. For example, a typical role includes Wells Fargo’s opening for a “tech diversity, community & sustainability communications consultant,” responsible for guiding messaging to reduce key risk. Similarly, Deloitte is hiring consultants to assist clients in maximizing their benefits from green subsidies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in human resources and environmental consulting have increased by 23.6 percent and 8.3 percent respectively since January 2021. However, these roles, while profitable for the individuals employed, do not necessarily contribute meaningfully to the overall economy.

Part of this boom is credited to Biden administration regulations and demands from progressive employees who expect their workplaces to reflect their political values. Furthermore, corporations are now being urged by entities such as BlackRock to produce extensive reports on their labor and environmental practices.

As a consequence, companies are investing substantial time and money into climate reporting and sustainability disclosures. For example, an unidentified manufacturing company spends between $600,000 and $750,000 a year on such reports, while an energy firm dedicates 7,500 to 10,000 hours annually to climate reporting, paying external advisors up to $1.35 million.

One example of the prevalence of these roles is in academia, where universities such as Clarkson University are advertising for roles like a “sustainability coordinator” for its athletics department. Such positions may require a master’s degree in environmental policy and specific certifications, suggesting that these roles are encouraging graduates to take on additional debt for credentials.

While these roles may offer better pay than entry-level jobs, the overall impact of these ESG and DEI roles on the economy is questionable at best. Industries may be creating deadweight losses across the economy, diverting resources away from other more productive activities.

See original article from The Wall Street Journal for more information.

Jack McPherrin ([email protected]) is a managing editor of, research editor for The Heartland Institute, and a research fellow for Heartland's Socialism Research Center. He holds an MA in International Affairs from Loyola University-Chicago, and a dual BA in Economics and History from Boston College.