Special Report

America's 25 Thriving Industries

Source: dimid_86 / iStock

25. Goat farming
> Employment growth 2007-2016: 53.9%
> Employment total: 474
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 8.8%
> Avg. annual wage: $27,076

Goat farming industry is one of many industries in the agriculture sector that had strong employment growth over the past decade. The number of Americans working in goat farming climbed from about 300 in 2007 to over 470 in 2016, a 53.9% employment increase.

Growth in the goat farming industry is driven largely by increasing demand for goat dairy products such as milk and cheese, which some consider healthier than cow dairy products. Goat cheese typically has higher protein content, less cholesterol, and is easier to digest than cow cheese.

Source: monkeybusinessimages / iStock

24. All other information services
> Employment growth 2007-2016: 54.3%
> Employment total: 17,916
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 57.3%
> Avg. annual wage: $81,076

While employment in information services such as libraries and news syndicates has declined over the past decade, the number of workers employed in all other information services — such as press clipping services, stock photo agencies, and telephone-based information services — has expanded substantially. Annual revenue for Shutterstock, one of the internet’s largest stock photo providers, has increased nearly tenfold in the last several years, from $52.7 million in 2008 to $494.3 million in 2016. In total, the number of establishments engaging in these information services has more than doubled in the last 10 years, and employment in the industry rose from 11,608 in 2007 to 17,916 in 2016, a 54% jump.

Source: Thinkstock

23. Offices of specialty therapists
> Employment growth 2007-2016: 54.6%
> Employment total: 363,454
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 15.7%
> Avg. annual wage: $43,967

The aging U.S. population affects how and where many Americans spend their money and has sweeping economic implications. The offices of specialty therapists is one of several industries benefiting from the growing number of elderly Americans, who often require more frequent medical care. Another reason for the increased demand for specialty therapists, such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists, is likely also the increasing number of Americans with health insurance.

The number of specialty therapists in the United States climbed by nearly 55% in the past decade, from 235,000 to 363,500.

Source: maki_shmaki / iStock

22. Wheat farming
> Employment growth 2007-2016: 54.9%
> Employment total: 6,341
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 36.6%
> Avg. annual wage: $34,206

The rise in the number of small-scale local farming operations has contributed to increased employment in a number of agricultural industries. The number of wheat farms in the United States rose from 1,537 in 2007 to 2,122 in 2016, a 38.1% increase, and the number wheat farm workers rose by 54.9%. While global wheat prices have fallen in recent years, the rising demand for artisanal, farm-to-table bread products may have increased incomes for some industry workers. Overall, the average annual wage for wheat farmers rose from $25,040 in 2007 to $34,206 in 2016, a 36.6% increase. By comparison, the average annual wage for all U.S. workers rose 20.6% from $44,458 to $53,621 over the same period.

Source: Thinkstock

21. Offices of all other health practitioners
> Employment growth 2007-2016: 56.1%
> Employment total: 139,921
> Wage growth 2007-2016: 13.7%
> Avg. annual wage: $43,278

The all other health practitioner classification includes all medical practitioners other than physicians, dentists, physical therapists, speech therapists, audiologists, chiropractors, podiatrists, and mental health professionals. The industry, which includes hypnotherapists, homeopathic doctors, and acupuncturists, is one of several in the health care and social assistance sector to make this list.

Total employment in offices of all other health practitioners expanded by 56.1% since 2007, more than nearly any other industry in the United States. Industries within the healthcare and social assistance sector have been growing rapidly due largely to the aging U.S. population and expansion of health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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