The United States has the most dynamic economy in the world. Where it once was symbolized by the automotive and steel industries, the American economy is now the world’s technology colossus. But the U.S. economy is more than that. It is a unique sum of the parts of 50 states whose identities are often tied to a particular job or industry. (And domestic workers hold the most jobs in these 12 states.)
Using data on employment by state for all detailed occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Wage and Employment Statistics survey for May 2022, 24/7 Wall St. identified the most unique job in every state.
Based on location quotient – the ratio of the concentration of an occupation’s employment in a state relative to its concentration nationwide – forest and conservation workers ranks as the most unique occupation in South Dakota. With 610 jobs in the field out of 435,260 jobs in the state, the occupation is 34.4 times more concentrated in South Dakota than it is nationwide.
The average annual wage for workers in the occupation across the state is $33,250, compared to $36,010 nationwide.
StateMost unique jobOccupation’s location quotientOccupation employment in stateOccupation’s avg. annual wage in state ($)AlabamaTextile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders6.21,99037,270AlaskaZoologists and wildlife biologists20.774081,320ArizonaContinuous mining machine operators6.81,88051,800ArkansasAgricultural product graders and sorters7.61,47033,470CaliforniaCrop, nursery, and greenhouse farmworkers and laborers5.6188,58034,790ColoradoAtmospheric and space scientists5.71,050107,220ConnecticutMethal and plastic lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders5.41,16048,140DelawareMeat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers8.33,40031,190FloridaBridge and lock tenders3.682032,040GeorgiaTextile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders11.58,57034,890HawaiiMotorboat operators45.457052,930IdahoNuclear engineers9.0590149,100IllinoisMisc. mathematical science occupations6.396079,540IndianaMetal-refining furnace operators and tenders10.64,29067,860IowaAgricultural technicians9.21,25049,630KansasAircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers19.25,76056,560KentuckyMetal and plastic forging machine setters, operators, and tenders7.31,00052,490LouisianaSailors and marine oilers19.16,79052,910MaineLogging equipment operators7.476043,240MarylandAstronomers18.0690141,880MassachusettsBiochemists and biophysicists10.58,250117,830MichiganMetal and plastic patternmakers9.359064,050MinnesotaMisc. gambling service workers13.23,09030,520MississippiUpholsterers17.03,50037,280MissouriCooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders6.883048,000MontanaGambling and sports book writers and runners21.757020,020NebraskaTransportation equipment electrical and electronics installers and repairers8.950073,550NevadaGambling managers31.81,46090,350New HampshireMisc. metal and plastic workers6.561040,520New JerseyShampooers7.81,62029,190New MexicoExtraction worker helpers17.567043,760New YorkTransit and railroad police7.01,46076,290North CarolinaTextile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders7.41,55030,030North DakotaWellhead pumpers30.61,22064,350OhioEngine and other machine assemblers4.27,66056,370OklahomaGambling surveillance officers and investigators14.91,70031,310OregonMisc. personal care and service workers24.218,43034,900PennsylvaniaMetal pourers and casters4.51,07042,690Rhode IslandJewelers and precious stone and metal workers7.564045,750South CarolinaTire builders15.44,12052,610South DakotaForest and conservation workers34.461033,250TennesseeStatistical assistants12.01,69051,840TexasOil and gas derrick operators7.26,93051,570UtahContinuous mining machine operators7.21,07063,690VermontMisc. community and social service specialists5.094048,080VirginiaMetal and plastic layout workers12.62,26057,530WashingtonTapers7.42,42075,320West VirginiaMining roof bolters87.568066,080WisconsinFoundry mold and coremakers5.31,15043,410WyomingOil and gas roustabouts28.52,02048,120