Cheryl Russell is a demographer who has a blog called “Demo Memo,” where she posts random and interesting facts. She recently posted the following under the heading, “Third World Nation”:
One in five American workers is a…Retail salespersonCashierOffice clerkFood preparation/serving workerRegistered nurseWaiter or waitressCustomer service repJanitorLaborerSecretaryOnly one of these occupations pays more than $16 per hour. Registered nurse is the exception, with an average wage of $32.56 per hour.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages–May 2010
Those kinds of wages for that large of a swath of Americans is not promising. In fact, I find it troubling. Getting paid less than $16 an hour does not leave much room for savings (if any), and many people with these positions probably don’t have a health care plan. It just goes to show why so many Americans are hanging on by a thread even though they work their tails off.
On a somewhat related note, aren’t we all glad that CEO pay is jumping up again?