Surprising job trends hidden in free public data

Sometimes the best things in life are free.

Free public data sets about occupations and careers have amazing stories to tell. I spent several weeks doing research for a website called using public data and assembled the data in a way that I’ve never seen before.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is segmented into different offices and different spreadsheets. This makes it a challenge to get the full picture.


Navigating — Historical data, and data about future expectations are stored separately and with different classification systems.



Why did they make it so hard? The BLS is interested in statistical rigor and consistent data collection, which they do very well. They provide some basic tools like the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is a great place to start for any career seeker.

But for historical data and projections, the data for each year is stored separately and you have to go digging to find it and put it together.

Interesting Stories in the Data

The data have never come together to tell the whole story until now.Capture

A graph is worth a thousand words. As soon as you see it, you understand it. Here is the number of childcare jobs in the U.S. by year. The blue dots show the expected 10-year projections. We can see that the numbers have been decreasing since 2011 even though expectations are for an increase. These data have never been shown together this way, that I’m aware of.


What a contrast. Childcare workers declining despite expectations of increase. Animal care workers exceeding expectations. This is all buried in free public data sets.

You can learn so much from these free public data sets. I’ve done the hard work of digging them up and arranging them for you. Browse occupations here.

What Can Public Data Tell You?

What career should I choose? Public data will tell you what occupations are growing, where they are growing, how compensation is changing and more.

Where should I sell my products? Census tract data can tell you how educated and wealthy different zip codes are. You can find your market with public data.

What college should I go to? Public data can tell you about acceptance rate, typical cost, even salaries after graduation.

Sharp Data Insights

My mission with Sharp Data Insights is to look for compelling data sets in unexpected places. Beyond the data, I want to tell the stories and get the most unique insights possible. Want to learn more? About

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