Artificial intelligence (AI) is now pervasive in people’s daily lives because of significant advances in the discipline in recent years. As generative AI technologies like ChatGPT, DALL-E 2, and Stable Diffusion were made available in 2022, they attracted interest from the general public and showed how useful they could be.
Tech goliaths like Microsoft, Alphabet, and Meta are rushing to incorporate new AI technology into their well-known businesses in response. Despite the fascinating potential of AI and machine learning, these new technologies have also stoked concerns about the loss of jobs.
Several jobs, including design, customer service, and computer programming, that were previously thought to be more difficult to automate may now be accomplished with these tools. Automation worries, however, are nothing new; history has demonstrated that although technological advancement may remove certain professions, it also regularly generates new roles needing different skill sets.
For instance, the development of computers and the internet resulted in the digital automation of many clerical and manufacturing jobs. The digital revolution also produced well-paying positions for highly educated analytical workers who are adept at utilizing a new technology.
These kinds of analytical professions have become more crucial in today’s digital economy and are likely to stay that way as more organizations rely on technology. Twenty years ago, analytical workers made up 29.4% of the labor force, which was defined as people employed in professions that scored in the top 50% on O*NET’s Critical Thinking index. Now, the percentage is 33.8%, a modest decline from its peak of 35.6% in 2020.
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Although there is a greater need for analytical employees across the economy, some industries have seen a particularly strong need for critical thinking abilities. Over the past ten years, positions in the management and operations of businesses have grown at the fastest rate.
Market research analysts, financial examiners, and human resources managers are just a few of the analytical professions whose employment increased significantly between 2011 and 2021. At the same time period, employment for the occupation of general and operations managers increased by almost one million people, making it the second-largest analytical occupation.
Geographically, the demand for workers in analytical professions is influenced by elements unique to local and state economies. States with high educational attainment in their populations and industry compositions that need more analytical workers, such as Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut, have the largest shares of workers in analytical occupations.
On the other end of the spectrum is Nevada, a state whose economy is heavily reliant on the service and hospitality sectors and where analytical abilities are less in demand. Corresponding to this, the majority of metro areas with higher-than-average proportions of analytical employees have highly educated workforces and economies based in sectors with high analytical needs, such as technology, financial services, law, and other big business.
About half of the workforce in the Washington, D.C. metro, the nation’s top metro for analytical professionals, are employed in professions that strongly rely on critical thinking abilities.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*NET Online provided the data that was used in this analysis. Researchers at Smartest Dollar examined the percentage of all workers in analytical jobs, or occupations that rank in the top 50% for O*NET’s Critical Thinking index, to discover the areas with the most analytical workers. In the event of a tie, the area with the higher overall concentration of workers in analytical occupations received a higher ranking.
The data for Texas are summarised as follows:
- Percentage of all workers in analytical occupations: 32.2%
- The concentration of workers in analytical occupations (compared to average): -4.7%
- Total workers in analytical occupations: 3,939,890
- Total workers in non-analytical occupations: 8,286,280
For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
- Percentage of all workers in analytical occupations: 33.8%
- The concentration of workers in analytical occupations (compared to average): N/A
- Total workers in analytical occupations: 47,664,140
- Total workers in non-analytical occupations: 93,222,170
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