The state of Maine is known for its deep and expansive wilderness, jagged coastline, and the crustacean the state's lobsterman bring ashore to feed people across the country.
However, Maine isn't necessarily brimming with lobstermen. According to a study from the Pew Charitable Trust, which investigated the most unique jobs in each state, Maine had the highest concentration of lumber equipment operators, more than eleven times the national average.
The Pew study did highlight some states where Americans' preconceived notions proved to be true. Pew looked at the frequency of certain professions nationwide, and compared the expected concentration to the actual concentration to determine most unique jobs in each state. For instance, Pew found that Nevada had the highest concentration of gaming supervisors, with nearly 7,000 employed across the state – 32 times the national average for the position.
Washington D.C. boasted the highest concentration of political scientists with over 100 times the national average, according to the report. West Virginia had almost 77 times the national average for mine shuttle-cart operators, of which there were more than 1,100 in a state with less than two million people.
Some of the more surprising finds came from Florida and Minnesota. The Sunshine state had the the most athletes and sporting competitors, with nearly five times the national average, according to the Pew study. One reason athletes may find Florida attractive is the lack of a state income tax. Unlike some wealthier Americans whose incomes are primarily taxed as capital gains, pro athletes are often in the Internal Revenue Service's highest tax bracket, according to Fox News.
As for Minnesota, the concentration of food scientists and technologists was almost seven times the national average. This may be a product of major food producers calling the state home such as General Mills, Land O' Lakes, Hormel Foods, Cargill Inc, and Schwan Food, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. Mississippi had the highest concentration of upholsterers, almost 18 times the national average.
Indiana, home of the Purdue University Boilermakers, featured the nation's highest concentration of boilermakers – nearly seven times the national average.
The Pew Charitable Trust compiled the report using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is important to note that a high concentration in a given industry is not indicative of the total volume of jobs that are available in the industry nationwide. States with larger populations may have a greater volume of jobs in a given industry.
For example, North Dakota only had 910 extraction workers in the energy industry, but its concentration was almost 38 times the national average. Texas had the highest concentration of petroleum engineers with nearly 20,000 workers, but the concentration of people in this occupation was only 7 times the national average, due to the state's population.