- Location-specific data shows which jobs are the most disproportionately popular in each state and DC.
- It’s not the most popular job in each state, rather jobs with a higher rate of employment in the state than in the rest of the country.
- We only looked at occupations with at least 1,000 people employed in the state in May 2021.
Not all jobs have the same concentration across the US.
Take wellhead pumpers for instance. That may not be an occupation you’re familiar with, unless you live in North Dakota and Texas where it’s the most overrepresented job. In Massachusetts, the most disproportionately popular job are biochemists and biophysicists. That’s based on location-specific data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We only looked at jobs with at least 1,000 people employed in the state as of May 2021.
As Insider’s Andy Kiersz wrote in a previous analysis, “these are not the most common jobs in these states,” but are instead those jobs that make up a much higher rate of employment in the state than in the rest of the country.
For example, nearly 14 out of every 10,000 jobs of Iowa’s almost 1.5 million employed people worked as “agricultural equipment operators” as of May 2021, compared to about 1.9 out of every 10,000 jobs nationwide. These two figures together — about 14 divided by about 1.9 — gives you the location quotient of agricultural equipment operators in Iowa, about 7.4.
You can hover over the above map to see our analysis of each state and DC using May 2021 data.
The New York Times opinion writer Peter Coy also recently looked at location quotients from BLS. One takeaway he noted is that shampooer is the most disproportionately popular job in New Jersey and Pennsylvania even when you only look at jobs with at least 1,000 employed people in the states.
“Some people theorized that the two states don’t necessarily do a lot more shampooing, but that employers are just more likely to identify workers as shampooers rather than, say, beauticians,” Coy wrote.
Below is the most disproportionately popular job in every state and DC along with the total employment and employment per 1,000 workers for that occupation in that state or DC. The location quotient and average annual wage for these occupations can be found when you hover over the map. The above map and list below use values from the May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program.
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