Special Report

25 American Industries That Are Thriving

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The noted Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter is credited with coining the term “creative destruction,” a quick summary of how free-market economies discard obsolete jobs.

Nowhere does that happen more frequently than in the United States, which is constantly reinventing itself. Innovation has heralded job opportunities in areas of the economy that did not exist a generation ago. Just as automobiles brought an end to the horse-drawn age, new technologies and platforms such as solar energy and the internet have created millions of jobs in those sectors. (These are the industries with the most job openings.)

To identify America’s 25 thriving industries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed employment change from 2011 through 2020 for U.S. industries in the fourth level of detail as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

Longer-term demographic shifts and technological advances are major drivers behind new job creation. As the baby-boom generation ages, companies are meeting the needs for services for the elderly and disabled. Job growth is soaring among ambulatory health care services and with  mental health practitioners, each of which has seen employment increase more than 90% in between 2011 and 2020.

Employment at internet publishing and web search portals, meanwhile, leaped more than 177% from 2011 to 2020. It also is among the best-paying of the sectors, with an annual salary above  $267,000 as of 2020.

Click here to see 25 American industries are thriving

Breweries and distilleries have added jobs at a brisk clip as well, reflecting changing American tastes in the consumption of alcohol. Employment among local messengers and delivery companies also rose dramatically, more than 213% from 2011 to 2020.

As America gradually shifts from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, the job market in solar power and wind generation has accelerated. Another trend of note is the explosion in industrial warehouse and storage space across the country. Employment has risen in that sector by more than 146%. (Here is a look at each state’s largest industry.)

Source: hsyncoban / E+ via Getty Images

25. Translation and interpretation services
> Employment change 2011-2020: 81.82%
> Employment 2020: 41,725
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: -16.36%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $48,220

Source: tongpatong / iStock via Getty Images

24. Storage battery manufacturing
> Employment change 2011-2020: 85.27%
> Employment 2020: 26,370
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 36.85%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $75,455

Source: RossHelen / iStock via Getty Images

23. Software publishers
> Employment change 2011-2020: 85.82%
> Employment 2020: 502,165
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 41.30%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $182,418

Source: photovs / iStock via Getty Images

22. Truss manufacturing
> Employment change 2011-2020: 85.96%
> Employment 2020: 31,594
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 46.57%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $48,901

Source: FS-Stock / iStock via Getty Images

21. Light truck and utility vehicle manufacturing
> Employment change 2011-2020: 91.52%
> Employment 2020: 67,314
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: -8.35%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $76,071

Source: kzenon / Getty Images

20. Nail salons
> Employment change 2011-2020: 93.21%
> Employment 2020: 94,629
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 31.20%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $20,303

Source: MJFelt / iStock via Getty Images

19. Miscellaneous ambulatory health care services
> Employment change 2011-2020: 93.61%
> Employment 2020: 64,788
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 37.30%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $69,134

Source: Steve Debenport / Getty Images

18. Offices of mental health practitioners
> Employment change 2011-2020: 95.34%
> Employment 2020: 123,983
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 18.90%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $43,847

Source: jhorrocks / E+ via Getty Images

17. New housing for-sale builders
> Employment change 2011-2020: 109.04%
> Employment 2020: 46,150
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 61.74%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $103,123

Source: MenzhiliyAnantoly / iStock via Getty Images

16. All other pipeline transportation
> Employment change 2011-2020: 111.55%
> Employment 2020: 806
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 63.33%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $105,676

Source: guvendemir / E+ via Getty Images

15. Other non-scheduled air transportation
> Employment change 2011-2020: 112.85%
> Employment 2020: 6,309
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 20.97%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $96,250

Source: adogslifephoto / iStock via Getty Images

14. Other marine fishing
> Employment change 2011-2020: 121.57%
> Employment 2020: 452
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 85.34%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $88,098

Source: Mlenny / E+ via Getty Images

13. Wind electric power generation
> Employment change 2011-2020: 131.70%
> Employment 2020: 6,886
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 12.25%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $107,375

Source: gilaxia / Getty Images

12. All other information services
> Employment change 2011-2020: 134.44%
> Employment 2020: 25,800
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 121.40%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $153,414

Source: SDI Productions / E+ via Getty Images

11. Political organizations
> Employment change 2011-2020: 134.85%
> Employment 2020: 16,597
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 31.78%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $62,186

Source: ArtistGNDphotography / E+ via Getty Images

10. Distilleries
> Employment change 2011-2020: 138.01%
> Employment 2020: 18,148
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: -8.39%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $67,506

Source: filadendron / E+ via Getty Images

9. Mobile food services
> Employment change 2011-2020: 139.65%
> Employment 2020: 20,555
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 31.54%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $22,882

Source: Kamonchai Mattakulphon / iStock via Getty Images

8. General warehousing and storage
> Employment change 2011-2020: 146.89%
> Employment 2020: 1,344,544
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 7.38%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $43,707

Source: Daisy-Daisy / iStock via Getty Images

7. Services for the elderly and disabled
> Employment change 2011-2020: 177.07%
> Employment 2020: 1,987,729
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 14.51%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $21,738

Source: Poike / iStock

6. Internet publishing and web search portals
> Employment change 2011-2020: 177.45%
> Employment 2020: 291,104
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 98.88%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $267,732

Source: millann / iStock via Getty Images

5. Breweries
> Employment change 2011-2020: 197.51%
> Employment 2020: 79,457
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: -27.06%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $48,032

Source: usdagov / Flickr

4. Other food crops grown under cover
> Employment change 2011-2020: 212.35%
> Employment 2020: 26,353
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 48.83%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $40,373

Source: Capuski / iStock via Getty Images

3. Local messengers and local delivery
> Employment change 2011-2020: 213.16%
> Employment 2020: 144,704
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 31.37%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $38,878

Source: TebNad / iStock via Getty Images

2. Other electric power generation
> Employment change 2011-2020: 217.92%
> Employment 2020: 2,537
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: 45.29%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $139,615

Source: LeoPatrizi / E+ via Getty Images

1. Solar electric power generation
> Employment change 2011-2020: 704.88%
> Employment 2020: 4,290
> 10-yr. change in avg. annual pay: -10.41%
> Avg. annual pay 2020: $106,656

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