Several Unusual Perspectives on Employment, by State


Let’s start with a map indicating the most common jobs in each of the states:

Most Popular Job in Each State

And to get you in the right mindset for what will follow, here is a map indicating the job that is more common in each state than in any other state in the country:

Most Distinctly Common Job by State

Over the last several weeks, Business Insider has published two articles that provide more unusual mappings of the statistics provided by the Department of Labor.

In the first article, Andy Kiersz reports on the most disproportionately popular job for college graduates in each state. He notes that in 48 of the 50 states, more college graduates are employed as elementary or middle-school teachers than in any other positions. But what Kiersz is mapping is the job in each state which requires a college degree and for which the variance from the national average of the number of people employed in it is the highest. For a job to be included, more than 1,000 people must hold it in the given state.

Disproportionately Popular Jobs for College Grads

Kiersz’s complete article is available at:


In the second article, Kiersz reports on the most disproportionately high-paying job in each state: that is, the job for which the median salaries in the state have the highest variance from the national average salary for the job.

Disproportionately High Paying Jobs by State

The complete text of this article is available at:

I don’t wish to endorse a strictly utilitarian view of the purpose of a college education. But, since colleges and universities often seem oblivious to self-evident marketing strategies, I’d like to suggest that some combination of the fuller sets statistics on which these two maps have been based would probably be of considerable value to those marketing programs in each state that prepare students for these jobs. In fact, some sort of a list of all jobs in a given state which require college degrees and for which both the demand and the median salary is higher than the national average would seem to be of value to those attempting to recruit not only in-state students but also out-of-state students into the related academic programs—especially if internships and other direct links to employment within the fields are available as part of those programs.


Postscript: You will note that Utah is the one state in which “postsecondary teachers” have the most disproportionately high-paying jobs within the state. The chart that accompanies the map indicates that the national average salary for “postsecondary teachers” is $74,040 whereas in Utah the average salary is $102,110



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