Monday, March 04, 2019

The Most Common Job in Every State

This interactive map provides some interesting insight into the changes in the American economy and employment over the last four decades. The Most Common Job in Each State uses data from the Census Bureau to show which jobs were the most commonly performed by individuals in each U.S. state for every two year period from 1978 to 2014.

In 1978 the most popular job in many states was secretary. Other popular jobs were farmer, machine operator and factory worker. All four of these jobs feature much less prominently in more recent years. In 2014 the most popular job in more than half U.S. states was truck driver. The rise of automation has put paid to a huge number of machine operator and factory jobs. Automation and the improvements to farming technology has resulted in less people being employed in farming. The rise of personal computing has led to the fall in the number of secretarial jobs.

Automation has yet to take over the role of truck drivers. Truck driving is also a job that can't be farmed out cheaply to China. These are just two reasons why truck driving dominates the map in 2014. However as NPR points out there is another reason. The government records all truck drivers and delivery people under one category. Other jobs are split more finely, for example primary school teachers and secondary school teachers are recorded in separate categories.

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