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Fun facts from the Census on jobs by gender and race

According to new census data, more men work as truck drivers than any single other occupation.

Today the U.S. Census Bureau released a burst of data on employment by race and gender, and by industry and occupation. What did they find?

-      More women work in the secretarial field than in any other occupation. The second-largest job for women: cashier.

-      More men work as truck drivers than any single other occupation. 

-      African Americans were more likely to work in the health industry than in any other field. 

-      More Hispanics were in the construction field than in any other occupation. 

-      More Asians were employed as software engineers than any other job.

So, what does it all mean? We'll leave it to the demographers and social scientists to parse the stacks (and stacks) of data print outs. But when you look at the statistics listed above for blacks, Hispanics and Asians, each group's top profession occupies a different rung on the economic ladder. Nursing is a middle class job (though home health care workers sometimes make less than minimum wage), construction is blue-collar work and software engineering is a white-collar profession. When it comes to economic mobility, these stats may help to tell a small part of the story of who's moving up in America and how fast they're moving. 

Other random facts from the Census data:

-       Whites make up about two-thirds of agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting jobs. Hispanics? 28.6 percent. Blacks make up only 2.8 percent of workers in this industry. And there are only 8,080 Asian women working in the industry (0.4 percent of all those workers). So, not a lot of Asian women farmers.

-       The construction field is over 90 percent male. Of women in the industry, white women are far and away the most represented. They make up 7.5 percent of all construction workers while only 0.4 percent of construction workers are black women.

-       In Fairbanks, Alaska, 35.4 percent of service workers are white women. In Jackson, Miss., it’s half that number, while black women make up over 40 percent of the service workers.   

-       In Dover, Del., there are no black women furniture salespeople (statistically speaking).

-       In Akron, Ohio, almost two-thirds of the people who work in music stores are white men.

-       In Rockford, Ill., only white people work in bookstores.

-       95.7 florists in Waco, Texas, are women.

-       In Tulsa, Okla., 41.9 percent of vending machine operators are Hispanic.

-       In Elizabethtown, Ky., 94.8 percent of postal workers are white.

-       In Boulder, Colo., there are almost three times as many Asians as blacks working in schools.

If you want to take a shot at sifting through the data for yourself, click here.

About the author

John Ketchum is an assistant producer for Marketplace’s wealth & poverty desk.

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