“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 cars (yet).”
That trend of globalization has almost wiped another trade that had once dominated 10 states: Machine operator, N.E.C.
“Machine operators and factory workers had a dominant presence in the Midwest and parts of the South through the late ’70s. Then a combination of globalization and technological change made many of those jobs disappear.”
Another sad stand-out is that work fields seem to have scaled back in the skills department. Take Hawaii, for example; in 1978 its dominant trade was bookkeeping. For 2014, though, it slipped to cooks. Big business buyouts appear, too, such as in North Dakota, where dominant trades went from farm owners to farm managers.
Check out the three maps below for a comparative history of these work trends.