Primary School Teacher is Connecticut’s Most Common Job; Secretary Was For Most of Past Three Decades

What was the most common occupation in Connecticut in 2014?  Primary School Teacher. That’s according to data analyzed by National Public Radio, using U.S. Census data.  NPR checked the most common occupation in each of the 50 states, every two years from 1978 and 2014.

One of the key findings?  Farmers have virtually dropped off the map.  In only two states – North Dakota and South Dakota – were “farm managers” the leading occupation in 2014.  That compares with 8 states in 1978.

Primary school teachers were the most prevalent job in 2 states – New Hampshire and Alaska – in 1996. In addition to Connecticut, the other states in which Primary School Teacher was the leading job in 2014 were Alaska, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

In 2014, the most common job in 4 states was “computer software developers” – Colorado, Utah , Virginia and Washington State.  The leading occupation in Washington, D.C.? Lawyers.

NPR points out that “through much of the '80s, as the U.S. economy shifted away from factories that make goods and toward offices that provide services, secretary became the most common job in more and more states. But a second shift — the rise of the personal computer — reversed this trend, as machines did more and more secretarial work.”

Connecticut’s most common occupation through the years:

  • Secretary             1978, 1982-1994, 2004, 2008, 2010job application form
  • Foreman              1980
  • Bookkeepers     1998
  • Truck drivers      1996, 2000
  • Nursing Aide      2002
  • School Teacher 2006
  • Primary School Teacher 2012, 2014

The NPR report points out that “driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation.”  The prominence of truck drivers is partly due to the way the government categorizes jobs, the report points out. It lumps together all truck drivers and delivery people, creating a very large category.

Other jobs are split more finely; for example, primary school teachers and secondary school teachers are in separate categories, as evidenced by Connecticut’s most common jobs – school teachers in 2006, primary school teachers in 2012 and 2014.common job map