Here’s the Most Disproportionately Popular Job in Every State

  • Some jobs are especially concentrated in a particular state.
  • We looked at the job with the most people employed in each state and DC relative to the national employment rate for that occupation.
  • The above map shows this for occupations with at least 1,000 workers, based on BLS data.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Some jobs are way more prevalent in some states than they are in the US as a whole.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program provides not only wage and overall employment data at the national and state level, but also a measure of how concentrated specific occupations are in specific states. BLS writes that this measure, called the location quotient, is “the ratio of an occupation’s share of employment in a given area to that occupation’s share of employment in the US as a whole.”

To get a sense of what that means let’s look at an example from California. There are 200,130 farmworkers and laborers out of 16,430,660 workers in this state as of May 2020, the most recently available data. This means roughly 122 out of every 10,000 workers in the state are farmworkers and laborers. And 293,910 of the 139,099,570 workers nationwide are farmworkers and laborers, or roughly 21 for every 10,000 workers in the US.

Taking the ratio of these two numbers, 122 to 21, you get a location quotient of about 5.8. Among jobs with at least 1,000 employees in California as of May 2020, farmworkers and laborers have the largest location quotient. That means this job makes up a larger share of people working in this job in the state than in the US. 

The above map shows the most disproportionately popular jobs in every state and DC. These jobs are the ones with the largest location quotients among jobs with at least 1,000 employees in that state or DC. You can hover over each state to see the location quotient for that job as well as the average salary as of May 2020.

Below is the job in each state and DC with the highest location quotient among occupations with at 1,000 employees as of May 2020. We included the number of workers for that job and the number of workers per 1,000 workers in the state and DC.

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