Most Common Jobs, By State

Instead of looking at only the most common job in each state, I found the top five for a slightly wider view. You still see the nationally popular occupations — drivers, cashiers, and retail workers — but after the first row, you see more regional and state-specific jobs.

The sore thumb in this picture is Washington, D.C., whose top five ordered by rank was lawyers, management analysts, administrative assistants, janitors, and, wait for it, chief executives.

Next step: compare metro areas instead of states for something more apples-to-apples.

Working With Choropleth Maps and Shapefiles

Here’s a tutorial on how to make maps like the above.

Notes

  • The Current Population Survey is an ongoing survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau. The downloaded microdata from IPUMS CPS for May 2015 through May 2018.
  • I made the maps in R and edited in Adobe Illustrator.
  • Like Quoctrung Bui’s map for NPR (which stirred my curiosity), I filtered out the “all other” manager and sales workers, which serve as catch-all categories for jobs that didn’t fit anywhere else.

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Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Shifting Incomes for American Jobs

For various occupations, the difference between the person who makes the most and the one who makes the least can be significant.

Data, R, and a 3-D Printer

We almost always look at data through a screen. It’s quick and good for exploration. So is there value in making data physical? I played around with a 3-D printer to find out.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.