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Visualizing China’s $18 Trillion Economy in One Chart



Visualizing China's Economy By Sector in 2021

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Visualizing China’s $18 Trillion Economy in 2021

China is the world’s second largest economy after the U.S., and it is expected to eventually climb into the number one position in the coming decades.

While China’s economy has had a much rockier start this year due to zero-tolerance COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain issues, our visualization covers a full year of data for 2021⁠—a year in which most economies recovered after the initial chaos of the pandemic.

In 2021, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached ¥114 trillion ($18 trillion in USD), according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The country’s economy outperformed government targets of 6% growth, with the overall economy growing by 8.1%.

Let’s take a look at what powers China’s modern economy.

Breaking Down China’s Economy By Sector

Sector2021 Total GDP
2021 Total GDP
% Share
Wholesale and Retail Trades¥10.5T$1.7T9.2%
Farming, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, and Fishery¥8.7T$1.4T7.6%
Real Estate¥7.8T$1.2T6.9%
Transport, Storage, and Post¥4.7T$0.7T4.1%
Information Transmission, Software and IT Services¥4.4T$0.7T3.9%
Renting & Leasing Activities and Business Services¥3.5T$0.6T3.1%
Accommodation and Restaurants¥1.8T$0.3T1.6%

Industrial production—activity in the manufacturing, mining, and utilities sectors—is by far the leading driver of China’s economy. In 2021, the sector generated ¥37.3 trillion, or one-third of the country’s total economic activity.

Despite a slowdown in December, wholesale and retail trades also performed strongly in 2021. As the main gauge of consumption, it was affected by lockdown measures and the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant towards the end of the year, but still rose by double digits, reaching a total of ¥10.5 trillion*.

“Other services”, which includes everything from scientific research and development to education and social services, generated 16% of China’s total economy in 2021, or ¥18.1 trillion.

*Editor’s note: At time of publishing, China’s government seems to have since adjusted this number to ¥11.0 trillion, which is not consistent with the original data set provided, but worth noting.

Where is China’s GDP Headed?

China’s economy recovered noticeably faster than most major economies last year, and as the overall trend below shows, the country has grown consistently in the years prior.

Visualizing China's GDP Growth

Before the pandemic hit, China’s quarterly GDP growth had been quite stable at just above 5%.

After the initial onset of COVID-19, the country’s economy faltered, mirroring economies around the globe. But after a strong recovery into 2021, resurging cases caused a new series of crackdowns on the private sector, slowing down GDP growth considerably.

With the slowdown continuing into early 2022, China’s economic horizon still looks uncertain. The lockdown in Shanghai is expected to continue all the way to June 1st, and over recent months there have been hundreds of ships stuck outside of Shanghai’s port as a part of ongoing supply chain challenges.

China’s Zero-COVID Policy: Good or Bad for the Economy?

While every country reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic differently, China adopted a zero-COVID policy of strict lockdowns to control cases and outbreaks.

For most of 2021, the policy didn’t deter GDP growth. Despite some major cities fully or partially locked down to control regional outbreaks, the country’s economy still paced well ahead of many other major economies.

But the policy faced a challenge with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Despite lockdowns and an 88% vaccination rate nationally, seven out of China’s 31 provinces and all of the biggest cities have reported Omicron cases.

And China’s zero-COVID policy has not affected all sectors equally. Industrial production rose by more than 10% in the first 11 months of 2021, despite city lockdowns around the country. That’s because many factories in China are in suburban industrial parks outside the cities, and employees often live nearby.

But many sectors like hotels and restaurants have been more severely affected by city lockdowns. Many global economies are starting to transition to living with COVID, with China remaining as one of the last countries to follow a zero-COVID policy. Does that ensure the country’s economy will continue to slow in 2022, or will China manage to recover and maintain one of the world’s fastest growing economies?

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Visualizing the Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs in 2023

Some jobs need a degree, while others don’t. Here are the top 20 most sought-after entry level jobs with and without a degree.



most sought after jobs

The Most Sought-After Entry Level Jobs of 2023

In the fast-paced realm of job hunting, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. And if you are an entry-level job applicant, the pressure is a notch higher.

New entrants in any job market today compete with groundbreaking technology like ChatGPT in addition to their peers. In the United States, these applicants have to also wade through an uncertain labor market, inflation, and long lists of job requirements. has identified the most sought-after entry level positions for applicants both with and without a degree in the U.S., and the year-on-year growth of these job postings.

Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs With a Degree

As the U.S. job market recovers from its pandemic slump, some careers are now booming. This in turn has opened up numerous opportunities for entry-level job applicants.

RankJob TitleAverage Annual SalaryChange in Postings
1Outside Sales Representative$60,000+258%
2Transportation Coordinator$47,500+227%
3Quality Auditor$84,500+131%
5Tax Preparer$67,500+123%
6Loan Processor$55,000+100%
7Retention Specialist$50,000+100%
8Network Operations Technician$85,500+94%
9Mental Health Manager$42,000+93%
10Speech-Language Pathologist$60,000+84%
11Geotechnical Engineer$65,000+80%
12Patient Access Manager$90,000+77%
13HR Coordinator$67,500+75%
14Lead Generation Specialist$62,500+73%
15Design Coordinator$55,000+73%
16Pharmaceutical Sales Representative$74,378+71%
17Behavioral Therapist$50,000+68%
18Special Events Coordinator$54,000+67%
19IT Engineer$92,500+67%
20Structural Engineer$90,000+63%

The demand for sales jobs multiplied this year as customer-facing businesses slowly returned to their pre-pandemic levels.

At the top of this list is the job for an Outside Sales Representative. Paying upwards of $60,000, postings for this job have grown by over 250% in a year, making it the most sought-after position for applicants with a degree.

The healthcare industry has secured its place in the top ranks too. Careers including mental health case managers, speech pathologists, behavioral therapists, and patient access managers dominate the Top 20 list.

Let’s not forget about the tech sector. While entry-level network technicians can earn upwards of $85,000 on average, while IT engineers are paid an entry package of over $90,000.

Most Sought-After Entry-Level Jobs Without a Degree

Nearly 65% of the U.S. working population does not have a four-year degree. However, millions of these workers continue to be highly skilled across professions and have a shot at some of the most sought-after entry level jobs in the country.

RankJob TitleAverage Annual SalaryChange in Postings
1Inventory Manager$59,000+189%
2Auto Body Technician$82,500+100%
3Environmental Health and Safety Specialist$65,000+100%
4Salon Manager$41,000+95%
5Drafting Technician$50,000+94%
6Business Analyst$72,500+82%
7Sheet Metal Mechanic$62,140+67%
8Aircraft Maintenance Technician$57,500+64%
9Catering Manager$47,500+56%
10Transportation/Logistics Coordinator$62,500+53%
11Route Sales Representative$50,000+51%
12Rental Agent$45,520+50%
13Distribution Center Coordinator$52,500+47%
14General Maintenance Technician$40,650+46%
15Patient Care Coordinator$43,152+44%
16Forestry Technician$45,760+43%
17Relationship Banker$43,576+43%
18Field Sales Representative$57,018+42%
19Park Ranger$45,912+42%
20Warehouse Receiver$45,000+39%

One example of this job is that of an Inventory Manager. The demand for skilled inventory managers in warehouses and companies post-pandemic has doubled the position’s job share in a year.

One of the highest paying non-degree jobs in this list—Auto Body Technician—can fetch highly-skilled entry-level workers a salary of $82,000 per year.

These jobs don’t seem to require a degree according to Indeed. However, the rising competition for these positions might give the upper edge to applicants with one, especially for jobs on the list such as Business Analyst and Relationship Banker.

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