Monday, December 15, 2014

The Most Distinctive Job in Each State


Texas is full of oilmen, and Kentucky and West Virginia are big on mining. That's pretty obvious, but some states have disproportionate employment in less intuitive categories. New Hampshire is all about forest fire prevention, Missouri likes to split rocks, and Mississippi is for upholsterers....
On a technical level, what this map looks at are location quotients. These are calculated by the Labor Department's Occupational Employment Statistics operation every few years. The most recent one was completed in May of 2013. The way it works is you look at what share of people in Massachusetts are Industrial Organization Psychologists. Then you look at what share of people in America are Industrial Organizational Psychologists. The ratio between the two is the location quotient for Industrial Organization Psychologists in Massachusetts — 8.18, as it happens.
It makes sense that Wisconsin would have a disproportionate share of animal breeders (with a large number of dairy farms, there would be a sizable number of artificial insemination technicians), Iowa would have the highest percentage of soil and plant scientists and Washington would have the most aircraft manufacturers per capita, but I'm surprised that Indiana, despite the nickname of Purdue University would have a disproportionate number of boilermakers.  I'm guessing it has to do with the steel mills in Gary, Indiana Harbor and Burns Harbor maybe.

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