Professional services jobs are soaring, making it the fastest-growing industry

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

As we continue to explore the U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns data, we take a look at the fastest-growing industries. To visualize the dynamics, we plotted the relative change of job numbers from 2000 through 2012. The following figure contains the data for all industries employing at least 5 million people, starting from 100 percent in 2000.


As you can see, every industry except for health care saw a significant decline in the number of jobs — especially significant was the decline in construction jobs.

However, if we ignore this decline it appears that three industries have the fastest growth rates. Along with health care, the industries with the most new jobs are accommodation and food services (consisting, for the most part, of hotels and restaurants) and professional services. We will now focus on the latter since it’s the most diverse of the three.

Basically, the number of professional services jobs has increased in every state. The most impressive numbers were registered in Vermont where over 18,000 professional services jobs were located, compared to just over 11,000 in 2000. Other rapid surges among the mainland states were registered in Virginia, Delaware and Wyoming (from 45 to 48 percent).

Lastly, to find which types of professional services yielded the most growth, we compare the distributions of the major types (at least 1.5 percent of all jobs) in 2000 and 2012.


Among the industries that displayed higher growth are administrative management and custom computer programming services. Interestingly, computer systems design services took a hit to employment since 2000. Our guess is that this is due to more businesses using in-house specialists instead of independent firms.

One industry’s growth catches the eye: research and development in physical, engineering and life sciences. Its share grew from 7.9 percent to 12.3 percent or, in absolute terms, from 490,000 employees in 2000 to 854,000 by 2012. While this particular industry code covers a wide range of businesses from guided missile research to experimental farms, it still shows the scale of growth in the number of people working in research in the recent years.

Discuss this article on our forum with over 1,900,000 registered members.

About Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov

Andrey Kamenov, Ph.D. Probability and Statistics

Andrey Kamenov is a data scientist working for Advameg Inc. His background includes teaching statistics, stochastic processes and financial mathematics in Moscow State University and working for a hedge fund. His academic interests range from statistical data analysis to optimal stopping theory. Andrey also enjoys his hobbies of photography, reading and powerlifting.

Other posts by Andrey Kamenov:

One thought on “Professional services jobs are soaring, making it the fastest-growing industry”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *