WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 3.1 million Americans are employed ingreen jobs, a sector that now accounts for about 2.4 percent of thenation's total employment, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The report represents the first time the department's Bureau ofLabor Statistics has come up with an official count ofenvironmentally friendly jobs, an emerging part of the economy anda centerpiece of President Barack Obama's stimulus plan.

Environmental groups cheered the report as an affirmation thatgreen jobs are a real factor in the nation's economic growth. Obamahas set a goal of creating 5 million green jobs and his stimulusplan provided $80 billion to help boost this sector.

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