Sunday, February 7, 2010

Job Voyager: The Work We Do

I came across a very interesting graphic at the Design Age blog on the Fast Company website.  This graphic shows in a nutshell the occupations of U.S. workers from 1850 to 2000.  The graphic is called Job Voyager and was put together by the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota.  Here is a static shot of the overall data (click on the link to see the full graphic):

The occupations shown in blue are male and the ones in pink are female.  What struck me immediately was the decrease in the proportion of people employed in farming, farm labor, and labor.  You can also easily see the much-increased diversity of occupations in which we are now employed as well as the increasing role of women in the workforce.

The Job Explorer site has a search box where you can type an occupation and get an expanded view of all related occupations.  For instance, here is the data for engineering-related occupations.

Engineering has not only been dominated by men until recent times, but it has also grown substantially as a recognized occupation since the early 20th Century. 

It is fun to speculate on what this graphic will look like in another 150 years.  Surely, it will change dramatically.  What will be the occupations that disappear as surely as farming has almost disappeared in the last 150 years?  

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