Special Report

America’s 25 Thriving Industries

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5. Pet care, except veterinary, services
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 98.2%
> Employment total: 114,514
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 179.4%
> Avg. annual wage: $16,349

Pet care is one of many industries benefiting from the increase in rising incomes since the end of the Great Recession. Americans spent a total of $69.5 billion on pet food, supplies, veterinary care, grooming and boarding, and live animals in 2017, up 61% from 2008. Over the same period, the number of workers employed in pet care nearly doubled, from 57,786 in 2008 to 114,514 in 2017. According to the BLS, employment growth in the pet care industry will continue to outpace the national figure over the next decade.

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4. Translation and interpretation services
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 111.3%
> Employment total: 36,822
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 90.6%
> Avg. annual wage: $45,808

The number of translators and interpreters in the United States has more than doubled over the past decade, from 17,429 workers in 2008 to 36,822 in 2017. One factor that may have contributed to the rapidly growing demand for translators is the rising amount of online content that requires translation for a global audience. Netflix, for example, recently recruited a class of translators through its internal platform HERMES, an online tool meant to test users’ translation and subtitling ability.

According to the BLS, demand for translators will continue to grow at a faster than typical rate in the coming years. The growing diversity of the U.S. population and the increasing need of foreign language skills in business due to growing international trade, among other factors, will contribute to the growing demand.

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3. Mobile food services
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 155.3%
> Employment total: 19,650
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 22.4%
> Avg. annual wage: $18,850

While employment in restaurants and other eating places grew at more than three times the rate of national employment growth over the past decade, the number of Americans working in mobile food services — which include food trucks, street food carts, and other nonstationary food vendors — grew from 7,698 in 2008 to 19,650 in 2017, more than in all but two other industries. Wages in the industry increased by 22.4% over the same period, compared to 17.0% wage growth in restaurants and other eating places. The average mobile food service worker earns $18,850 a year, approximately $3,700 more than the average annual wage for restaurant workers.

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2. Breweries
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 158.3%
> Employment total: 68,148
> Wage growth 2008-2017: -55.3%
> Avg. annual wage: $47,126

Growing demand for craft beer and microbrews over the past decade has fueled rapid employment growth in the brewery industry. The number of breweries in the United States grew nearly eight-fold over the past 10 years, from 454 establishments in 2008 to 3,509 in 2017 — the largest establishment increase of any industry. While employment growth did not keep pace with the industry’s establishment growth and as a result the size of the average brewery got smaller over that time period, the brewery industry still had one of the largest employment increases of any industry. The number of brewery workers rose by 158.3% from 2008 to 2017, more than 29 times the national employment growth for all occupations of 5.4%.

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1. Internet publishing and web search portals
> Employment growth 2008-2017: 172.1%
> Employment total: 223,232
> Wage growth 2008-2017: 58.5%
> Avg. annual wage: $175,566

While the number of workers employed in newspaper publishing fell by more than half from 2008 to 2017, employment in internet publishing rose 172.1% — by far the fastest growth of any industry classified by the BLS and more than 30 times the national average. The number of online publishers and web search portals also more than doubled in the last 10 years.

As is often the case, as demand for workers in the industry climbed, so did compensation. The average annual wage in the industry climbed 58.5% from $110,777 in 2008, to $175,566 in 2017.