These are the 20 Most and Least Racially Diverse Jobs in North Carolina

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Jobs, Rankings - 2 years ago


As we’ve seen time and time again in America, we’re not quite where we’d like to be and certainly where we ought to be when it comes to race. I mean, it’s 2016. Let’s get it together.

Of course, there are certain parts of the country that are more diverse and inclusive than others (Hawaii, California, and Nevada, for example); there are some that are not diverse at all (think West Virginia), and then there are states like North Carolina that are right in the middle.

But we wondered, is there a difference within different jobs within these different parts of the country?

As it turns out, yes there is.

So today we’re going to look at both the 20 most and the 20 least diverse jobs in North Carolina. First, though, you might want to know how we came up with this list in the first place.

How we determined the most and least diverse jobs in North Carolina

For this analysis, we wanted to focus only on racial diversity across different job titles—we aren’t going to tackle gender or income diversity (in this post anyway.)

Our data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey’s Public Use Microdata Sample. Phew, that’s a mouthful and I’ll just use “PUMS data” going forward.

PUMS data is great—it’s a sample of the actual responses people gave to comprise the larger American Community Survey data that’s more ubiquitous. Because PUMS data is taken on an individual basis, it lets us get much more granular with our analysis.

In this case, we wanted to look at Gini-coffiecent, a standard measure of inequality, for each of the occupations. The occupation with the lowest Gini-coefficient is the most diverse occupation in North Carolina. People with this job, “Packaging and Filling Machine Operators And Tenders” are the most diverse with the following breakdown of race:

  • 39.08% White
  • 38.51% African American
  • 13.79% Other
  • 4.60% Asian
  • 2.30% Two Or More
  • 1.72% Native American

To get the least diverse jobs, we completed the same Gini-coefficient calculation, however there were nine occupations that were 100% white in the dataset creating a nine-way tie for first. To break that tie, we then ranked the occupations by the total occurrences in the dataset with the more observations being “less diverse”. So overall “Appraisers and Assessors Of Real Estate” came across as the least diverse because this job had the most observations in the dataset (32) and “Financial Specialists, All Other” came in second (with 24 observations).

So now that you know the how, let’s get to the what.

First, here are the 20 more diverse jobs.

The 20 Most Diverse Jobs in North Carolina

  1. Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
  2. Food Processing Workers, All Other
  3. Baggage Porters, Bellhops, and Concierges
  4. Miscellaneous Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers, Except Upholsterers
  5. Drywall Installers, Ceiling Tile Installers, and Tapers
  6. Dishwashers
  7. Chemical Technicians
  8. Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers
  9. Packers and Packagers, Hand
  10. Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
  11. Butchers and Other Meat, Poultry, and Fish Processing Workers
  12. Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners
  13. Miscellaneous Agricultural Workers, Including Animal Breeders
  14. Furniture Finishers
  15. Cooks
  16. Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand
  17. Janitors and Building Cleaners
  18. Social and Human Service Assistants
  19. Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
  20. Barbers

In many of these jobs, “white” is still the majority—but not so with packaging and filling machine operators and techs or food processing workers. African Americans played a much larger role in these jobs (particularly in the latter), as did “Other race” and those who identified as Asian.

The job where American Indian-identifiers ranked highest was in Drywall Installers, etc. Asians worked the most in laundry and dry-cleaning services. Native Americans in food processing. Those who identified with two or more races most commonly worked in Refuse and Recyclable Materials jobs. And those who put themselves in the “other native” category worked most commonly as Chemical Technicians.

You know what’s coming next: the 20 least diverse jobs in the state.


The 20 Least Diverse Jobs in North Carolina

  1. Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate
  2. Financial Specialists, All Other
  3. Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
  4. Advertising and Promotions Managers
  5. Nurse Anesthetists
  6. Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Transportation Equipment, and Industrial and Utility
  7. Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
  8. Court, Municipal, and License Clerks
  9. Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  10. Aircraft Pilots and Flight Engineers
  11. Fundraisers
  12. Parts Salespersons
  13. Cost Estimators
  14. Producers and Directors
  15. Chiropractors
  16. Editors
  17. Administrative Services Managers
  18. Architectural and Engineering Managers
  19. First Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers
  20. Chemical Engineers

Numbers 1-9 on this list had absolutely 0 diversity as far as race goes: these were jobs solely filled with people who identified as white. There was a higher percentage of Asians in both the Cost Estimator and Chiropractor fields. And in fact, African Americans made up nearly half of the “Editor” positions and most of the “First Line Supervisors” and “Chemical Engineer” positions as well.

But the fact is, these 20 jobs are simply not diverse, because even if a majority of workers are not white, that doesn’t mean that there are any more than two races reporting working these jobs.
And here’s the worst part: Still today there is a very heavy correlation between race and pay. In those jobs with less diversity, the pay is higher. In the jobs with more, the pay is lower.

A Long Way to Go

So, yes, we still have a long way to go, but we’re hoping that at least with this data we truly know the reality of the situation; and from here, can take the steps we need to make jobs in America, specifically North Carolina, as diverse as they should be.

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