If you think about it, there's probably a good chance that the job you hold now probably didn't even exist in Illinois back 150 years ago (1872), with scattered exceptions.

My own job surely wasn't around back then. Back in the day, if a guy wanted to do a morning talk show, he'd head out to the barn to chat up the cows whilst being perched on a tiny stool, and doing call-ins consisted of neighbors shouting things at you over the fence.

What the kids used to hang on their bedroom walls before the Farrah Fawcett posters. (Getty Images)
What the kids used to hang on their bedroom walls before the Farrah Fawcett posters. (Getty Images)
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Before TV, this is how you watched a Bulls game. (Getty Images)
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To Compare, Let's Start With A Look At 2021's List Of Illinois' Most Common Jobs

According to a recent piece at Zippia.com, the most common job in Chicago in 2021 was cashier. When the piece went online in May, Chicago had 21,101 cashiers, with nearly 200 job openings.

Cashier is followed in order by Internship, Sales Associate, Customer Service Representative, Administrative Assistant, Security Officer, Certified Nursing Assistant, Volunteer, Manager, and Office Assistant.

Nowhere on the list is "flying car pilot," or "flying car mechanic." When I was a kid, this is what they told us we'd be doing in 2020s, the big liars:

George Jetson said we'd all be driving these things. (Getty Images)
George Jetson said we'd all be driving these things. (Getty Images)
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"Find The Wagon Wheel" was very popular during the early days of Illinois. (Getty Images)
"Find The Wagon Wheel" was very popular during the early days of Illinois. (Getty Images)
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150 Years Back, The Most Common Occupations In Illinois Were Farmers And Planters

Not just in Illinois, but throughout the entire country. 150 years ago, agriculture was the undisputed champion of employment, making up 47% of all employed people over the age of 10 years old.

With farmers and planters holding the number-one spot in 1870, Agricultural laborers came in a close second.

The rest of the top ten most common jobs in 1870 Illinois, according to Stacker.com's research:

  • Laborers (not specified)
  • Domestic servants
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Employees of railroad companies (not clerks)
  • Clerks in stores
  • Blacksmiths
  • Teachers (not specified)
  • Tailors, tailoresses, and seamstresses

Click here for more on Illinois jobs of the past.

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