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What Jobs Your City Is Most Known For

Sohan Murthy at the LinkedIn blog published a map Wednesday that shows which skills and jobs are most disproportionately represented in American cities based on data from LinkedIn members.

The map doesn’t show the most common job in each city; that’s another metric and would probably make for a pretty boring map, all things considered, because the plurality of Americans work in sales. Instead, it shows which jobs are observed at a disproportional rate in different metropolitan areas among LinkedIn members (which may not represent the general public).

Murthy points out a few things about the map: You can see America’s major energy hubs along the Gulf of Mexico and around Bismarck, North Dakota. And many cities fit their stereotype: D.C. with its public policy obsession, New York with its finance types, and Nashville, Tennessee, with the music business.

But it’s also fun to compare the prevalence of jobs within cities. “Mining and commodities” is bigger in Las Vegas than “travel” or “restaurant and catering,” which leads me to think that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas — it’s exported to industrial consumers of raw materials. I thought writing and publishing would be more disproportionately popular in New York than, say, general finance, but that’s just the bubble I’m in.

The map also happens to pick out a few other unexpected but sensible findings. Look at the gray dots, and you see a map of major U.S. military installations. It wasn’t shocking to see Seattle’s a hub for tech, but I was surprised that Boise, Idaho, was. As it tuns out, some of the largest employers in the Boise area are circuit designers.

There’s also a ton of data from European cities. Check out the whole treatment by Murthy on LinkedIn.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.