Special Report

America's 25 Thriving Industries

20. Investment advice
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
57.6%
> Avg. annual employment growth: 5.2%
> Employment total: 175,133
> Avg. annual wage: $167,704

Over the past decade, employment in the finance and insurance sector has shrunk by 4.6%, the fifth largest contraction of any sector in the country. While the finance and insurance sector as a whole has dwindled, not all of the sector’s industries have done poorly. For example, employment in the investment advice industry has grown by 57.6% over the past decade nationwide, from 111,145 employees in 2005 to 175,133 in 2014. Part of the explanation could be the growing population of older Americans, who are both more likely to be wealthy and to invest compared with younger people. The current share of Americans aged 65 years or older as a percent of the U.S. population is the largest in recorded history.

19. Sports and recreation instruction
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
57.6%
> Avg. annual employment growth: 5.2%
> Employment total: 108,976
> Avg. annual wage: $17,742

While employment in the educational services sector has grown by 5.3% since 2005, employment in the sports and recreation instruction industry shot up 57.6% over the same time period. Despite the higher employment growth, sports and recreation instruction lagged behind the broader educational services sector in wage growth. While wages across the sector grew by 31.0% since 2005, industry wages only went up by 15.8% over the same time period. With an average annual wage of only $17,742, the sports and recreation instruction industry is one of the lowest paying in the country.

18. Portfolio management
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
62.2%
> Avg. annual employment growth: 5.5%
> Employment total: 183,530
> Avg. annual wage: $268,827

Over the past decade, employment in the finance and insurance sector has decreased by 4.6%, the fifth largest contraction of any sector in America. Like the investment advice industry, employment in portfolio management has grown despite the overarching sector employment decline. The portfolio management industry grew from 113,154 employees in 2005 to 183,530 in 2014, a 62.2% increase. The share of Americans 65 and older is at the highest level in recorded history. The subsequent need for retirement planning may partially account for the growth of the portfolio management industry, particularly in the wake of underfunded pensions.

17. Media buying agencies
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
63.9%
> Avg. annual employment growth: 5.6%
> Employment total: 14,552
> Avg. annual wage: $122,259

Employment in the media buying agencies industry has grown by nearly 64% since 2005. Industry workers buy time or space from media companies, such as television channels and online publishers, and resell it to advertisers. Average media buying agency wages increased even faster than industry employment. The average wage of a media buying agency worker is $122,259, roughly 70% higher than the average industry wage of $71,798 in 2005. By contrast, wages across all industries in the U.S. grew by only 31% over the same time period. The proliferation of online advertising in recent years likely accounts for the relatively rapid expansion of the industry workforce.

16. Mining and oil and gas field machinery manufacturing
> Employment growth from 2005-2014:
71.5%
> Avg. annual employment growth: 6.2%
> Employment total: 95,511
> Avg. annual wage: $86,176

Over the past decade, employment in the manufacturing sector has declined by 14.3%, the third largest contraction of any sector in the country. However, employment in the manufacturing of mining and oil and gas machinery grew by a considerable amount, from 55,692 jobs in 2005 to 95,511 in 2014 — a 71.5% increase. The mining, oil, and gas machinery manufacturing industry is one of a handful of oil-related industries that are among the fastest growing in the nation. This is largely reflected in the growth of the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector, which had the fastest employment growth of any sector in the past decade.