Special Report

America’s 25 Thriving Industries

Source: petinovs / Getty Images

15. General warehousing and storage
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 59.0%
> Employment total: 910,591
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 13.9%
> Avg. annual wage: $31,593

General warehousing and storage involves the operation of storage facilities for general merchandise, refrigerated goods, and other warehouse products. Like other industries on this list, demand for warehousing and storage services likely increases in conjunction with general economic growth. The United States has maintained substantial economic growth since the Great Recession, with real GDP rising every year since 2009.

The number of workers employed in general warehousing and storage rose by 59.0% from 2008 to 2017, nearly nine times the 5.4% employment growth rate for all industries nationwide. Over the same period, wages rose 13.9%, less than in a majority of industries.

Source: latypova / Getty Images

14. Wineries
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 59.9%
> Employment total: 64,212
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 10.7%
> Avg. annual wage: $44,788

The number of wineries in the United States rose from 2,311 in 2008 to 4,343 in 2017, nearly the highest rate of establishment expansion of any industry. Over the same period, the number of winery workers rose by 59.9%, far more than the national employment growth rate across all industries of 5.4%.

Growth in the wine industry was driven in part by strong demand from the millennial generation. The youngest members of this generation — those born between 1981 and 1996 — reached the legal drinking age last year, and, according to research from industry association the Wine Market Council, a large share favor wine. According to the WMC, millennials drink an average of 3.1 glasses of wine per occasion, compared to 2.4 glasses for gen-Xers and 1.9 for baby boomers. Millennials account for 42% of U.S. wine consumption, the largest share of any age cohort.

Source: Jorge Villalba / Getty Images

13. Electronic shopping and mail-order houses
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 63.0%
> Employment total: 404,211
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 182.8%
> Avg. annual wage: $64,775

The rise of e-commerce has been one of the most disruptive forces in retail in decades. As online retailers like Amazon thrive, traditional brick and mortar department stores are shuttering more locations every year, and some, like Sears, have declared bankruptcy. In the last 10 years alone, the number of people working in the electronic shopping and mail-order house industry climbed by 63%. The industry includes retailers that take mail orders from catalogues.

Source: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / Getty Images

12. Educational support services
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 64.8%
> Employment total: 172,126
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 21.7%
> Avg. annual wage: $48,681

Educational support services — or non-instructional services that provide support in an education system or process — is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. In the last decade, the number of Americans working in educational support services climbed by 64.8%. The industry includes school administrators and counselors. Demand for such workers is projected to increase into the foreseeable future, as enrollment in primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions grows.

Source: vgajic / Getty Images

11. Sports and recreation instruction
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 67.3%
> Employment total: 132,520
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 4.5%
> Avg. annual wage: $14,964

Sports and recreation instructors are primarily employed by schools and camps. They coach teams, organize games, and lead groups in exercise and physical fitness instruction. Since 2008, the number of Americans working in sports and recreation increased by 67.3%. Unlike other fast-growing occupations on this list, wages for sports and recreation instructors have remained relatively flat. In the last 10 years, the average wage in the industry grew by just 4.5%. In the vast majority of fast-growing jobs, wages have climbed by at least 20% since 2008.