BusinessGreen has some interesting statistics on economic growth as divined by analysing LinkedIn traffic - Renewables LinkedIn to growth surge.
You may know LinkedIn as an excellent way to network/waste time, but those lunch hours spent trawling the business social networking site looking for a new job or connecting with old school friends have also resulted in some fascinating data on the size and shape of the US economy.
By tracking the jobs and job changes of its 150 million members between 2007 and 2011, LinkedIn has been able to calculate which industries are on the up and which are in decline.
And yes, you've guessed it: top of the pile is renewable energy and environmental roles. These grew more than 49 per cent over the four-year period, exactly double those of the second-highest risers, internet and online publishing.
More encouraging still, the sector performed equally impressively when LinkedIn moved beyond percentage terms to examine the volume of jobs gained and lost.
"Our data show that, even through the recession, the industries with the largest volume of employment growth... were internet, hospitals and healthcare, health, wellness and fitness, oil & energy, IT and renewables," wrote Scott Nicholson, a LinkedIn data scientist and economist in a blog post. "On the other side of the story, retail, construction, telecommunications, banking and automotive had the largest volume of job losses between 2007 and 2011."
Of course, it is likely that those working in some of the newer industries are more tech-savvy and utilise networks such as LinkedIn more often, potentially skewing the numbers, though the survey does give a fascinating picture of how the economy is shifting beneath our feet.
But then there is a wealth of evidence suggesting LinkedIn's figures are more than just an interesting snapshot. Research by analyst firm Clean Edge found yesterday that the global market for solar PV, wind energy and biofuels grew 31 per cent during 2011 to almost $250bn (£159bn).