What’s the most common job in the majority of states?

Hint #1: 40 years ago, it was “secretary”.

Hint#2: It’s one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.


Census data was crunched by NPR analysts.

Don’t squint for the labels … just glance at the states’ color coding and make your guess.




And, the answer is ….


Breaker, breaker:

Driving trucks is the most common job in the majority of states.


Say, what?

NPR’s hypothesis:

“Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation.

A worker in China can’t drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can’t drive trucks (yet).”


On the downside, the BLS reports that driving tractor-trailers is among the most dangerous jobs.  Specifically …

  • 1 of 6 American workers killed on the job is a tractor-trailer truck driver.
  • 761 tractor-trailer truck drivers were killed in 2014 (latest data available)
  • The vast majority of these deaths, 78 percent, were the direct result of transportation incidents


Back to the most common jobs

Other jobs that were most common in some states:

  • Primary teacher (6 states)
  • Secretary (5 states)
  • Computer programming (4 states)

My personal favorites: “Cook” in Hawaii and, to be expected, lawyers in DC


Interesting note:

In 1996, Secretary really was the most common job in a majority of states.

Of course, the rise of the PC was the demise of many secretarial jobs.

The economic irony, in many cases, technology allowed work to be off-loaded from relatively low paid secretaries to higher paid managers.


And, on the horizon: what will happen when we have self-driving trucks?

10-4, old buddy.


See the NPR article for more details.

Thanks to SMH for feeding the lead.



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