See our other posts on the top jobs in various states.
In this post we will take a look at the top jobs in North Carolina for 2012. Using Analyst (EMSI’s web-based labor market analysis tool), we will filter over 800 occupations in order to find jobs that have had the most growth since 2007 (when the economy took its nosedive), high pay, and a higher degree of specialization in the state. Our observations are based solely on labor market data from EMSI’s 2011.4 Covered Employment release, which is drawn from 80+ state and federal data sources.
Big picture, how has North Carolina fared since 2007? Jobs have fallen 5.6%, from 4.2 million to 3.98 million, with just the slightest uptick in 2010-2011. The latest estimates put unemployment at 435,000. Average annual earnings are $41K.
JOBS WITH THE BEST GROWTH
Here we will consider the total number of new jobs and proportional growth.
Registered nurses has added the most — over 6,000 new jobs since 2007. That’s way above any other occupation in the state. Following that are network systems & data communications analysts (+800 new jobs), computer software engineers, applications (+700), and physicians & surgeons (+600). The list goes on (see the table below, where we’ve limited our analysis to jobs that employ 1,000+ and that pay at least $25/hour, excluding educational occupations).
Interestingly, healthcare jobs (SOC code 29) show up quite a few times on this table — seven out of 18. Another four jobs are related to business & financial operations (SOC code 13) and three to computer & mathematical science (SOC code 15). All of the occupations here require at least an associate’s degree — except for flight attendants, which calls for only long-term on-the-job training.[table "295" not found /]
Now for the jobs that have grown by the greatest percent. Network systems & data communications analysts (14%) tops the chart, followed by personal financial advisors (9%) and physician assistants, physical therapists, registered nurses, and medical scientists (all at 8%).[table "296" not found /]
Overall, the three jobs that show the best of both kinds of growth are registered nurses, network systems & data communications analysts, and computer software engineers, applications.
JOBS WITH THE BEST $
Of all the jobs that pay above $45 an hour (2011 median hourly wage), we get a lot from the healthcare sphere: physicians & surgeons ($87.94), dentists ($87.31), orthodontists ($81.20), oral & maxillofacial surgeons ($75.21) — nine of the 25 highest-paying jobs. Not surprising. But it’s also interesting to note that ten of the jobs here are related to management (SOC code 11) — jobs like chief executives ($85.64), natural sciences managers ($61.15), engineering managers ($56.46), and computer & information systems managers ($54.18). The difference? All the healthcare jobs are growing or at least holding steady, while nearly all the management occupations are in decline.[table "297" not found /]
JOBS WITH THE BEST CONCENTRATION
Concentration (measured by location quotient, or LQ) is basically another way of saying specialization. When we look at the most concentrated jobs, we’re looking at the most compelling jobs for North Carolina. (You can find out more about concentration here.)
The bad news? Almost all the highest-concentrated jobs in North Carolina are going down (again, limiting our analysis to jobs that employ 1,000+). We see a trend here: 15 of the 24 jobs with an LQ above 2.0 are related to production (SOC code 51), and all of them have sunk since 2007 — jobs like textile knitting & weaving machine setters/operators/tenders (LQ 8.19, -29%), upholsterers (LQ 4.37, -30%), and tire builders (LQ 3.9, -13%). These jobs require short- to long-term on-the-job training, and pay around $10-15 per hour.
Jobs that are actually growing (if only by a smidge) include home health aides (LQ 2.42, +1,800 new jobs), military occupations (LQ 2.3, +9,700 new jobs), and adult literacy/remedial education/GED teachers & instructors (LQ 2.01, +53 new jobs).[table "298" not found /]
Healthcare jobs, with their solid pay and their notable growth since 2007, are among the top jobs in North Carolina in 2012 — especially registered nurses, physicians & surgeons, physician assistants, and physical therapists. We should also pay attention to network systems & data communication analysts (+800 jobs, +14%, $34.30/hour), medical scientists, except epidemiologists (+352 jobs, +8%, $37.33/hour, LQ 1.59), and computer software engineers, applications (+700 jobs, +5%, $41.34/hour). Military occupations is interesting because of its growth (+9,700 jobs, +7%) and its concentration (LQ 2.3).