A Sky News analysis of the latest census data shows what jobs we have now, revealing a shift towards data and computer programming.
The youngest workers are in retail and hospitality, while farmers and elected officials have the most workers aged 60 and over.
Around 27.8 million people aged 16 and over in England and Wales said they were working when the census was taken in March 2021. It was the middle of the pandemic, but those who were on furlough were asked to record their work as continuous work.
The most in-demand jobs have changed over time, reflecting broader societal shifts as technological advances create new roles.
Computer programming was one of the biggest gainers. The number of people working in this field has increased by 274,000 since the last census in 2011.
This represents the largest ranking change among the top-ranked occupations over this period, rising from the 14th most common occupation in 2011 to the 8th most common occupation in 2021.
Financial services saw the biggest drop in rank, from 10th to 13th.
There are now more people working in computer programming and consulting than in financial services, including in London.
This trend towards new careers is also reflected in the widening age gap in some of the more traditional roles.
For data entry professionals, 16-34 year-olds make up two-fifths of the workforce.
In contrast, more than three-fifths of “typists and other keyboard occupations” are 50 or older.
Are newer occupations more likely to be displaced by developments in AI technology?
Some of the riskiest jobs are likely to be those in data and digital jobs where more young people are employed.
A quarter (24%) of workers worry that generative artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT, could render their jobs redundant, new polling shared with Sky News reveals.
The poll by Opinium for Prospect, a union of technologists and other specialist roles, also showed that 58% of workers believed governments should create rules around the use of artificial intelligence to protect workers’ jobs.
Andrew Pakes, deputy general secretary of the Prospect union, said: “Clearly there are risks and benefits to AI, particularly in relation to how it is introduced at work and what it means for work.
“Our poll found that a quarter of employees worry that generative AI like ChatGPT could make their jobs redundant.
“While data and technology roles involve new skills, many jobs are precarious and insecure – not only from the threat of artificial intelligence, but also from employers deploying new technologies at work without consultation or accountability.
“Rather than wait until more problems arise to act, the government must now engage with employees and employers to develop fair new rules for the use of this technology.”
What are the most gender-specific jobs?
Among the male-dominated occupations, architecture and construction roles are the most prominent. More than 99% of bricklayers, robbers and scaffolders are men.
The occupations with the highest proportion of women are midwives, accounting for 99%, and nannies accounting for 98.1%.
Approximately 97 percent of early education and child care practitioners are women. However, women are more evenly represented in higher education roles such as university lecturers, where women make up 48 per cent. This is in line with the proportion of women in the broader working population.
There is good news for gender balance in some occupations, with young women advancing in science and engineering.
Although there are 10 to 1 more male engineers than female engineers in the 50 to 54 age group, we can see younger female groups making up the shortfall. Nearly half of engineers in the 16-34 age group are women.
Are some professions dying?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, sports and hospitality were among the youngest jobs surveyed, with 79 percent of professional sports players and 77.5 percent of coffee shop workers under the age of 35.
Other occupations, however, are heavily skewed toward older groups, suggesting they may not appeal to younger workers.
The oldest jobs are elected representatives (including positions such as MPs and MPs) and farmers, with about one-third of workers in these occupations aged 65 and over.
A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales, said: “Being a councilor is a very rewarding role and it gives you the opportunity to have a huge impact on the quality of life of local people. We need people from all Reflect the background and experience of the communities they serve to stand for election.
“Through its Next Generation and Becoming MPs programme, the LGA is doing all it can to encourage more young people to stand for election and to support existing young MPs to take greater leadership roles in local authority.”
For farmers, 43 percent of workers are over 60 years old, the oldest skewed occupation overall. However, farm workers – who are recorded separately and may perform more manual labor – are often very young. Nearly a quarter of farm workers are under the age of 25.
So is the agricultural sector in trouble, or will those young farm workers end up in more senior roles?
Judging from the changes since the 2011 census, the aging of the rural population appears to have changed.
In 2021, of the 92,000 farmers aged 20 and over, 53,000 (57%) will be under the age of 60. Not only is the total number of farmers down from 113,000 in 2011, but so is the percentage of young farmers; below 67%.
The latest census and 2011 use slightly different age groups. We adjusted the age groups accordingly, so the 2021 data represents 20 and over, while the 2011 data refers to 20 to 74.
Cumbria farmer Chris Dickinson, who is part of the National Farm Federation’s Next Generation Forum, which aims to support the role of the next generation in farming, said: “Farming, especially in rural areas, Agriculture is an important part of the economy.
“It’s a really big source of employment and there’s not much people can do about it. So it’s really important that we keep bringing new talent into the industry.”
However, this can be challenging as those who want to enter the industry face initial costs, low industry profit margins, and general labor shortages among other factors that make the job more difficult.
At £10,000 an acre, even a relatively small 50 acre farm would cost £500,000 for the land alone.
He added: “It’s not seen as a trendy career, it’s very long hours – much longer than you would have in a traditional job. It’s not for everyone.”
“Farming has not been particularly profitable over the last few years. British farmers cannot compete [with imported foods] Because labor and energy costs are higher. “
Older farmers may end up hanging on longer than usual because no one wants to take over the farm.
What is the most common job?
The top 10 most common jobs employ 5.5 million people, or one-fifth of the working population.
There are currently over 1.1 million employees working in sales and retail roles in England and Wales, making it the most common type of work. This is followed by paramedics and home care workers at 856,000.
The Office for National Statistics also released a An interactive tool where you can find out how many people fill roles similar to yours.
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