HUNTINGTON — A new study using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that oil, gas and mining service unit operators represent the fastest growing occupation in West Virginia, with a 144% increase over the last 10 years.

According to the study done by Commercial Caf, a commercial real estate information services provider developed by Yardi Systems, 32.9% of all employees in West Virginia work in business, 21% in the industrial sector and 17.1% in healthcare.

It showed in 2018, West Virginia had 683,450 employees across all industries.

As the country's population is aging, personal care aide jobs are on the rise nationwide, becoming the fastest growing category in the U.S. with a growth rate of 251% over the past 10 years. In 2018, personal care aide jobs rose to over 2.2 million jobs, the study reported.

"As the U.S. population ages and the Baby Boomer generation retires, more jobs in healthcare will continue to be needed," the report said.

In Kentucky, personal care aide jobs grew 430%, from 3,150 in 2009 to 16,690 in 2018. It was the fastest growing job in the state.

When broken out by industry type on the state level, business and healthcare jobs have grown the most in 30 of the 48 continental states.

In addition to personal care aides and market specialists, human resource specialists are also growing quickly in seven states including Virginia, Washington and Minnesota, according to the study.

"Market specialist jobs have grown by 182% over the same period to a total of 638,000," the report said. "As technology evolves to provide new ways of data accumulation, the need to translate that data should increase as well."

The fastest growing jobs in information technology (IT) by state only had two entrants, Ohio and Delaware.

In Ohio, operations research analyst jobs have grown from under 1,000 jobs in 2009 to almost 4,000 in 2018, a 294% increase in 10 years.

The study showed there has been virtually no change in where jobs are located on a state level from 2009 to 2018.

To read the full study and report, go online at

Follow reporter Fred Pace at and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.


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