Visualizing the American Workforce as 100 People
In 2022, the U.S. population stood at 333 million. Of that, roughly 60% were employed in various jobs, positions, and sectors in the U.S. economy.
But where did all these people work? What jobs did they do and what positions did they hold? Where do most Americans do their nine-to-five?
Using data from the National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates (2022) put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we reimagine the employed American workforce as only 100 people, to find out answers.
Interestingly, the data contains a mix of information demarcations. Some are job-specific (type of work), some are based on position (like Management), and some are broken down by industry (Transport and Health).
The Most Common Jobs In the U.S.
By far, most of the American workforce (13 out of 100) are employed in Office & Administrative work. This includes a mind-boggling variety of jobs: receptionists, payroll clerks, secretaries, proof-readers, administrative assistants, and customer service representatives to name a few.
Notably, any sort of management role is absent from this, as well as any other job categories, since the BLS categorizes managers in their own class.
The industry which employs the second largest group of people is Health, accounting for 11 people from the 100. This category is a combination of two sectors listed in the original dataset (healthcare practitioners and healthcare support) and covers the entire industry: from physicians, surgeons, veterinarians, nurses, and therapists to technicians, assistants, orderlies, and home and personal care aides.
Here’s a quick look at all the major sectors most of America’s workforce actually works in.
|1.||Office & Admin||13||Receptionists, Clerks, Customer service, Secretaries.|
|2.||Health||11||Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Vets, Orderlies, Personal care aides.|
|3.||Transport||9||Warehouse workers, Packagers, Pilots, Ambulance, Bus, Truck, Taxi drivers, Ship captains.|
|4.||Sales||9||Sales representatives, Counter clerks.|
|5.||Food||8||Food preparers & servers, Bartenders, Dishwashers, Hosts.|
|6.||Management||6||Legislators, Chief executives, Directors, General & Operations managers.|
|7.||Business & Finance||6||Accountants, Auditors, Financial analysts, Logisticians.|
|8.||Manufacturing||6||Factory workers, Gas fitters, Machine operators, Cobblers, Tailors, Barbers.|
|9.||Education||6||Teachers (all fields, all levels).|
|10.||Construction & Extraction||4||Stone / brick / block / cement masons. Construction laborers. Roofers, Plumbers, Electricians, Mining workers.|
|11.||Mechanics & Installation||4||Auto mechanic, Farm equipment mechanic, Home appliance mechanic, Locksmiths.|
|12.||Data & Tech||3||Information analyst, Database architect, Software & Web
developers, Data scientists, Mathematicians, Computer support.
|13.||Custodial||3||Cleaning, Groundskeeping, Landscaping, Housekeeping.|
|14.||Protection||2||Cops, Firefighters, Security guards, Lifeguards, Correctional officers.|
|15.||Hospitality||2||Animal trainers / caretakers. Ushers / attendants. Makeup artists. Concierge. Exercise trainers.|
|16.||Architecture & Engineering||2||All engineers and architects (excluding the information industry).|
|17.||Community & Social Service||2||Social workers, Therapists (counsellors) & Religious work.|
|18.||Arts, Media, & Sport||1||Fine artists, Designers, Actors, Athletes, Journalists, Writers, Authors, Musicians.|
|19.||Science||1||All scientists (not engineers).|
|20.||Legal||1||Lawyers, Judges, Paralegals, Mediators.|
|21.||Farming, Fishing, & Forestry||1||Farmers, logging workers.|
The third most common job is actually a tie between Transport—cargo moving workers, pilots, truck drivers—and Sales—retail and industry sales agents, counter clerks—with both sectors employing nine of the 100 people. In the Sales category, two of the nine people are cashiers.
Ranked fifth is Food, with eight people, ranging from private chefs to serving staff at fast food restaurants.
Another six all belong in some kind of Management role (across industry, and including legislators) with two of those six being “top level executives” like a CEO, a general manager, a mayor, or university president. Management shares its spot with Business & Finance, Manufacturing, and Education, all at six each.
The following jobs or industries also employ the same number of people:
- Construction & Extraction along with Mechanics & Installation, at four each.
- Data & Tech, with Custodial jobs, with three each.
- Protection, Hospitality, Architecture & Engineering, and Social work, all at two each.
- Artists & Athletes, Scientists, Legal, and Farming, Fishing & Forestry are all one each.
Quirks of the Job Data
From the numbers, some fascinating nuances of the American workforce are revealed. For example, there are more cashiers (2) in the economy than artists, writers, designers & athletes (1). There are the same number of customer service representatives as the entire Scientific and Legal fields put together (2).
But perhaps the most interesting quirk comes from how few people are employed in the Farming, Fishing & Forestry industry, a critical primary sector. In raw data, the BLS estimates only slightly more than 450,000 farm, fish & forestry workers.
Importantly, it’s worth noting the BLS only collects data from “nonfarm” establishments, explaining the low estimate for their category, which is almost one-sixth of what the USDA estimates. Please see the data note at the end of this article for a full explanation.
Which Jobs Have the Highest Wages in the U.S.?
Meanwhile, the top 20 highest paid jobs (by annual average wages) all belong to doctors (usually specialists or surgeons), with two exceptions: CEOs and athletes.
The lowest-paid jobs are a mix of entertainers, and service and retail staff.
As a broader category, however, Management makes the most money, followed by Legal and then Tech. Workers in Food, Health Support, and Custodial jobs have the lowest wages.
|Rank||Jobs||Annual Average Wages|
|3.||Data & Tech||$108,130|
|5.||Architecture & Engineering||$94,670|
|6.||Business & Finance||$86,080|
|8.||Arts, Media, Sports||$76,500|
|10.||Construction & Extraction||$58,400|
|11.||Community & Social Service||$55,760|
|12.||Mechanics & Installation||$55,680|
|15.||Office & Admin||$45,550|
|18.||Farming, Fishing, & Forestry||$37,870|
Analyzing the data throws up a few correlations between number of employees and wages. The top three sectors with the most jobs (Admin, Transport, and Sales) are in the bottom 10 categories when it comes to pay.
On the other hand, three sectors in the bottom 10 of employment numbers, (Data & Tech, Architecture & Engineering, and Legal) are in the top five highest paid sectors.
The Health sector sees a big divide in pay between practitioners (doctors, nurses, therapists) ranked 5th and support staff (assistants, aides, & orderlies), ranked 21st, or second-to-last.
How is the American Workforce Changing?
Over the last five years, the American workforce has not stayed static. Of the listed 22 groups, 13 saw growth in employment numbers, nine saw a decrease, and one stayed flat since 2018.
The top gainer by far is Health Support (medical assistants, care aides, orderlies, etc.) which grew by 65%. Looking at the timeline of growth does not paint a steady picture: employment jumped between 2018 and 2019, briefly fell in 2020, and has since risen again in 2021-2022.
Another top gainer is Transport, rising from the 4th to 3rd biggest employer, beating out Sales in 2022. Business & Finance and Management have also seen steady increases since 2018.
On the other hand Hospitality saw a staggering 48% drop in numbers, not all together surprising given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the rise of tech companies like Airbnb.
Meanwhile, Office & Admin work saw a 15% loss in employees, even though this category is still the biggest employer in the country by a significant margin. Although jobs in this group saw steady declines from 2018-2021, it registered a slight uptick in workers between 2021 and 2022.
Here’s a full list of top-level sectors and how they changed.
|Jobs||2018||2022||% Change (2018-2022)|
|Business & Finance||7,721,300||9,677,720||+25%|
|Data & Tech||4,384,300||5,003,910||+14%|
|Community & Social Service||2,171,820||2,313,620||+7%|
|Arts, Media, & Sports||1,951,170||2,063,380||+6%|
|Mechanics and Installataion||5,628,880||5,823,400||+3%|
|Construction & Extraction||5,962,640||6,075,520||+2%|
|Architecture & Engineering||2,556,220||2,481,170||-3%|
|Farming, Fishing, & Forestry||480,130||461,750||-4%|
|Sales and Related||14,542,290||13,183,250||-9%|
|Office & Admin||21,828,990||18,674,770||-15%|
Looking ahead, questions about the future of the American workforce loom large, especially in the wake of the AI revolution that has swept imaginations, and quite possibly, soon the economy. People who hold administrative jobs—the largest category—are most vulnerable since many office tasks can be automated with increasingly sophisticated AI tools.
Will AI be as dominating a factor as the Industrial Revolution on the global economy? Will it cause as big a shift as the offshoring of manufacturing from the U.S.?
Or will AI blend seamlessly into the current make-up of the American workforce, merely enhancing productivity and profit?
Charted: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers
Just three countries—the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Russia—make up the lion’s share of global oil supply. Here are the biggest oil producers in 2022.
Charted: The World’s Biggest Oil Producers in 2022
In 2022 oil prices peaked at more than $100 per barrel, hitting an eight-year high, after a full year of turmoil in the energy markets in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Oil companies doubled their profits and the economies of the biggest oil producers in the world got a major boost.
But which countries are responsible for most of the world’s oil supply? Using data from the Statistical Review of World Energy by the Energy Institute, we’ve visualized and ranked the world’s biggest oil producers.
Ranked: Oil Production By Country, in 2022
The U.S. has been the world’s biggest oil producer since 2018 and continued its dominance in 2022 by producing close to 18 million barrels per day (B/D). This accounted for nearly one-fifth of the world’s oil supply.
Almost three-fourths of the country’s oil production is centered around five states: Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, and Colorado.
We rank the other major oil producers in the world below.
|YoY Change||Share of
|2||🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia||12,136||+10.8%||12.9%|
|36||🇸🇸 South Sudan||141||-7.6%||0.2%|
|51||Other Middle East||210||+1.2%||0.2%|
|54||Other Asia Pacific||177||-10.6%||0.2%|
|55||Other S. &|
Behind America’s considerable lead in oil production, Saudi Arabia (ranked 2nd) produced 12 million B/D, accounting for about 13% of global supply.
Russia came in third with 11 million B/D in 2022. Together, these top three oil producing behemoths, along with Canada (4th) and Iraq (5th), make up more than half of the entire world’s oil supply.
Meanwhile, the top 10 oil producers, including those ranked 6th to 10th—China, UAE, Iran, Brazil, and Kuwait—are responsible for more than 70% of the world’s oil production.
Notably, all top 10 oil giants increased their production between 2021–2022, and as a result, global output rose 4.2% year-on-year.
Major Oil Producing Regions in 2022
The Middle East accounts for one-third of global oil production and North America makes up almost another one-third of production. The Commonwealth of Independent States—an organization of post-Soviet Union countries—is another major regional producer of oil, with a 15% share of world production.
|YoY Change||Share of
|South & Central|
What’s starkly apparent in the data however is Europe’s declining share of oil production, now at 3% of the world’s supply. In the last 20 years the EU’s oil output has dropped by more than 50% due to a variety of factors, including stricter environmental regulations and a shift to natural gas.
Another lens to look at regional production is through OPEC members, which control about 35% of the world’s oil output and about 70% of the world’s oil reserves.
When taking into account the group of 10 oil exporting countries OPEC has relationships with, known as OPEC+, the share of oil production increases to more than half of the world’s supply.
Oil’s Big Balancing Act
Since it’s the very lifeblood of the modern economy, the countries that control significant amounts of oil production also reap immense political and economic benefits. Entire regions have been catapulted into prosperity and wars have been fought over the control of the resource.
At the same time, the ongoing effort to pivot to renewable energy is pushing many major oil exporters to diversify their economies. A notable example is Saudi Arabia, whose sovereign wealth fund has invested in companies like Uber and WeWork.
However, the world still needs oil, as it supplies nearly one-third of global energy demand.
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