NPR Map Highlights the Rise of the Logistics Industry

September 15, 2016

 

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Here’s a quick post to draw your attention to a cool infographic that illustrates the rise of Logistics. NPR’s Planet Money (a great economics and business podcast you should check out) recently put together a featurette about the most common jobs in the U.S. They use U.S. Census data to track the most common jobs on a state-by-state basis starting in 1978, moving all the way up to 2014, as a way of understanding how the economy has changed.

The data tells an interesting story, because it lets you chart the ways that industries have grown to dominate certain regions – and how others have receded. Everyone knows that the economy has become even less agriculture-based than it was before, and sure enough “farmer,” which was the most common occupation in six states in 1978, shrank to be the most common occupation in only two states in 2014. It’s a neat thing to get the visuals for. But, as recruiters with our eyes always on the lookout for Supply Chain, we couldn’t help but notice how NPR’s infographic also says a lot implicitly about the rise of Logistics, and the Supply Chain Field more generally:

In 1978, “secretary” was the most common occupation in California, New York, and large swathes of New England and the Midwest. By the late 80s, it was the most common occupation in thirty-six states. But then, starting in the early 90s, “truck driver” pops up as the most common occupation across most of the South, West and Midwest. By the year 2000, it was the most common occupation in forty-one states, and by 2014 remained the most common occupation across most of the continental U.S.

To us, this shows the tremendous rise of the Logistics industry as a key player in business, and a key sector of employment. Planet Money identifies how the country has seen a decline in regional specialization, so Logistics has taken over as an important factor of the economy across the country. They also identify how truck driving has been immune to both automation and globalization in a way that manufacturing hasn’t been over the period.

Which segues nicely into the other Supply Chain stories NPR’s map tells: for one, there’s the decline in domestic manufacturing as more companies began producing goods overseas, and states like Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Kentucky shift from seeing “Machine Operator” as the most common occupation to “Truck Driver” – with Michigan as the last holdout. It’s interesting to see a concrete image, based in data, of a fact we’re well-familiar with: the loss of domestic manufacturing jobs has seen a rise in Supply Chain jobs that move overseas good to various domestic markets. And by 2014, certain states including Colorado, Washington and Virginia see “Software Developer” become the most common occupation, and we can’t help but think about how a good deal of those software developers are working on technology that enables Supply Chain’s big data revolution.

It just goes to show you that the rise of the Supply Chain industry’s fingerprint is everywhere, with tremendous impact on the economy. We encourage you to check out the map for the stories it tells about this industry, and the world of work more generally.

And we know the data is probably similar, but we’d love to see the same thing for Canada! logo_icon

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