In 1870, fewer than 3% of U.S. workers were employed in professional services, a category that includes educational, engineering, legal, and medical services (including individuals working in hospitals). Just 1.5% of North Carolina workers were employed in professional service industries in 1870.
Nationally, employment in professional services represented less than 5% of all employees until 1930. After that, the share of employees in professional services grew steadily through 1960, and grew even more rapidly between 1960 and 2010. Growth in the share of North Carolina workers employed in professional patterns followed similar patterns. In 2010, more than a quarter of all workers in the nation (26.7%) and North Carolina (25.9%) were employed in professional services.