Surprising Maps Reveal Most Common Jobs in the US from 1978 to 2014

National Public Radio (NPR) recently released a fascinating infographic that reveals the most common job in every state of the United States, and the data may surprise you. They compiled the professions on a series of maps that start in 1978 and track every four years until 2014. So, what's the job that's stood the test of time? Truck drivers.

NPR used Census Bureau results to create their infographic, and they present the maps with a caveat. They eliminated the ambiguous categories “managers not elsewhere classified” and “salespersons not elsewhere classified.”

Over the years, secretaries went from being one of the most common professions to fading into the background. This is thanks to rising technology and the advent of the personal computer. Farmers' roles also diminished in the job force as automation in farming meant that less people could grow more food.

Truck drivers aren't affected by the globalization and automation in the same way as other jobs. One of the biggest reasons is that we still need local drivers to transport our goods from place to place. To track these changes, NPR created an interactive slider where you can transform the US map with a click of your mouse.

Above: 2014

1978

1982

1986

1990

1994

1998

2002

2006

2010

NPR Infographic
via [Visual News]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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