June 25, 2008
In May, 2006 over ten million people—about 8.2 percent of all employees—were employed in three occupations: retail salespersons, cashiers, and office clerks, general.
Over three million people were employed in each of these three occupations. Six other occupations had employment of over two million: combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; registered nurses; laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand; waiters and waitresses; customer service representatives; and janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners.
Three of these large occupations—combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; waiters and waitresses, and cashiers—had mean hourly wages of less than $10.00 per hour.
One of these nine large occupations had wages above the all-employee average of $18.84: registered nurses, with mean wages of $28.71 per hour.
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more about occupational employment and earnings, see "Chart book: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2006," May 2008, Bulletin 2702.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Earnings in nine largest occupations, May 2006 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/jun/wk4/art03.htm (visited April 28, 2016).
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Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.