Production occupations are growing in even more states, despite below-average wages. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for production occupations – which can include anything from bakers, butchers and food processing workers to fabricators, welders, woodworkers and metal and plastic machine workers – was $36,000 in May 2019. While this figure was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations ($39,810), production occupations comprise the fastest-growing jobs in 11 states – four more states than in our 2019 version of the study.
The fastest-growing job in one state is the fastest-disappearing in another. According to 2015 and 2019 data from the BLS, production worker helper is the fastest-growing job in Idaho, but it is the fastest-disappearing job in Nevada over the same time period. The number of employees in this job saw a four-year increase of roughly 131% in Idaho and a four-year decrease of roughly 58% in Nevada.