Fascinating Look at the Top 10 Most Common Professions in the United States: Are Employees Being Paid Fairly?
The team here at Joseph & Kirschenbaum is on a mission to help make our city (and our country) a more equitable place for employees, who often don't understand their rights, according to legislation like New York Labor Laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
These workers often feel intimidated, confused or just oblivious about their rights.
A new report put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shines a light on why salespeople, retail workers, restaurant workers and other service industry professionals need protection against wage and hour abuse. The following statistics vividly illustrate that workers live on a razor's edge. Even small cuts into their salaries -- caused, for instance, by an employer's violation of overtime rules or tip pool violations -- can have huge ramifications. The nickel-and-dime-ing can prevent workers from feeding their families well, paying their medical bills, and supporting their children's educations.
Critics sometimes minimize the importance of overtime and wage and hour cases, because they genuinely don't appreciate how damaging employer "nickel and diming" can be -- but these statistics show the true, sobering reality.
Most Common Professions in the United States (as of May 2013), per the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
• Retail salespeople (nearly 4.5 million);
• Cashiers (nearly 3.5 million);
• Food preparers and servers (just over 3 million);
• Office clerks (around 2.8 million);
• Registered nurses (around 2.3 million);
• Waiters and waitresses (around 2.4 million);
• Customer service reps (around 2.4 million);
• Laborers and freight, stock and material movers (around 2.3 million);
• Secretary and admin assistance (around 2.1 million);
• Janitors and cleaners (around 2.1 million).
Although Registered Nurses can make a relatively good living, almost all the top 10 professions do not pay particularly well. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual mean wage in the United States is roughly $48,000. Registered Nurses earn substantially more than that -- nearly $70,000, annually. However, most popular professions earn substantially less. Secretaries and customer service representatives earn around $33,000 per year. Office clerks earn around $30,000 a year. Laborers and freight, stock and material movers clock in at just around $28,000 a year, while janitor and retail salespeople earn slightly less - around $25,000 a year. Waiters and waitresses and cashiers earn just around $20,000 a year, and food preparation and serving workers even less than that - around $15,000 a year.
The statistics are stunning, if a bit sad. But they highlight how important it is to stop employers from "nickel and diming" workers who struggle to make ends meet. If you or someone you know faces employer discrimination, a wage and hour issue, a tip pool violation, or harassment at your job, call the Joseph & Kirschenbaum team now for a free consultation at 866-348-7394.