The map above shows the most common job in every state in 2014.
In North Dakota and South Dakota, the most common job was a farmer.
In just about every other state, the most common job is truck driver.
The source of the map is NPR, which has an animation showing the changes in the most common job since 1978. Be sure to click the link to watch the animation because the changes are fascinating.
Here’s the 1978 version, which shows a lot more secretaries and a lot more farmers:
Really the map shows the changing realities of industry in America. As farming has become less labor-intensive, with innovations and inventions making it possible to farm more land with fewer people, we have fewer farmers.
The rise in truck drivers? That’s all about our changing retail landscape. Not just online retail, which is built on delivery of goods to your home, but even before that companies like Walmart revolutionizing the use of distribution centers and inventory. Rather than keeping months worth of inventory in their stores, Walmart uses sophisticated inventory tracking to keep just enough inventory on hand to meet demand.
A model that is built on a lot of trucks making a lot of deliveries.
But these changes haven’t hit North Dakota. Even amid an energy boom, which has brought radical changes to the state’s economy, North Dakota’s business is still farming.