Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Monday, July 12, 2010

So, You Think Your Wages Stink

The "land of opportunity" may soon become "the land of low wages." Lower paying jobs which were seen as "the domain of younger workers" who were just starting out in the work world, "have become "survival jobs for midcareer folks who have been downsized," said Randall Hansen, a workplace expert with Quintessential Careers.

The Department of Labor lists the following eight jobs as the lowest paying in the nation:

1. Food preparation and serving workers, including fast food

$8.71 an hour or $18,000 annually
Job requirement: minimal education
Mostly part tume
Long hours and hard work

2. Dishwashers

$8.81 an hour
Florida has the most dishwasher but pay the lowest hourly wage at $8.62
Nevada pays the highest at $11.29 an hour

3. Cashiers

$9.15 an hour or $19,000 annually with about half part-time
Ranks No. 2 on BLS’s list of biggest occupations with a workforce of about 3.3 million
On the job training
Employers prefer a highschool diploma and a knowledge of math
High turnover

4. Hosts and hostesses

$9.23 an hour; waiters and waitresses get $9.80 an hour
Don't forget to tip them

5. Amusement park attendants

Florida and California have the most people employed in this profession
Florida has 30,410 workers at a salary of $8.90 an hour
California has 40,640  park workers at $9.57 an hour
So much for the land of enchantment (author's note)

6. Movie theater ushers, ticket takers

$9.43 an hour but you can watch all the movies you want
The BLS expects jobs for ushers and ticket takers to jump nearly 12 percent in the next 10 years

7. Farm workers

$9.51 and hour
Seasonal, physically demanding and dangerous
About seven in 10 migrant workers are born outside the United State
233,000 workers in the nation with 150,000 in California
It will be interesting to see what happens in The Grand Canyon State

8. Personal and home care aides

$9.75 an hour
630,000 personal aides but numbers are expected to grow as the population turns gray
High risks of injury and work-related illnesses

All the wages on the list include the mean, or midpoint, hourly rate


  1. This is fast becoming a [Hamburger Helper Republic]. Globalization [International Corps] took away our manufacturing base, now they are taking away the service industry, and the tech industry. They gave us [lower prices all the time] in order to keep wages down. Now the American consumer is gone [priced out], and will probably never come back to justify a full recovery.
    Do not be surprised if we become an agrarian state once again.

  2. We produce nothing any more, except greasy hamburgers. Thank corporate America with the help of GWB, RR and company.

  3. The Republicans have killed the golden goose (a strong middle class) with it any chance (for years maybe decades to come) for a vibrant America full of opportunity for all.
    Now they are trying to kill off any federal social programs that will help those stuck in their economic nightmare.

  4. TOM:
    You do not think that the dems might have a little hand in that?
    Just maybe?

  5. I retired January 1st, 2008...right into the teeth of the Recession. When I begin to panic now about money and think I've GOT to get some kind of job or return to the career I completed, I remember that other people need that job more than I do. Others have children to feed and no more unemployment compensation.

  6. Good Evening Ms.Leslie!

    I reckon it's not what it used to be heh? It is still going to get even more difficult for lower income working class American's than now, or let's just say "tighter". I work for myself, so I just take it from there. Thank You for the informative posting though.

  7. It struck me when looking at these lowest-paying jobs that I went to work as a copy editor at a daily newpaper in 1982, after six years of college, and my starting salary was $13,000 a year. Unemployment figures are high, but close to one-fifth of the American workforce is underemployed. I don’t know which is worse: to be unemployed or have a master’s degree and deliver pizzas.

  8. Another thing Ms.Leslie if I may .... many folk's should have seen this as far back as 5 year's ago and prepared for it, figured out strategies, etc. All the math was there of what we have now and what will come in the next few year's if you just take a minute and look. But most folk's listen to the talk, political promises, and put faith in those who have plenty to say, but that's about it. I sure have wrote plenty about this myself from the start of my journal ... and the "importance" of honing your survival skill's, because of the change that we will see, especially over the next decade, all the math has been there for several year's and all the proof you need to see the direction of this, as well as understanding where "change" is needed. I am just grateful Sen. John McCain didnt win the bloody election, if we think this is tight ... you havent seen nothing yet. :) And those that think that we will be catching up on job's or such soon ... well .... it's a nice thought, but understand ... looking at the math overall ... it is not likely. Also consider ... when it does get better and there is more spending ... inflation as well as taxation will have to increase ... there is NO WAY around this. So these republican's who say they have answer's and know this or that, are either lying severely or caught in a hallucenation, any clear basic economic's/ market view clearly show's what will come about as far as employment even over the next 10 year's for that matter. Right now even what you may not hear much talk about it how delicate the economy actually is, it is not as peachy as it may appear, even creating a couple hundred thousand job's a month, doesnt mean squat mathematically, but is better than losing of course. This President and Administration is doing everything that they can, believe me ... they are fighting a bull which has been gaining strength for year's, we are so close right now to a relapse of the recession it aint funny, but many dont want to talk about it, cause it is a delicate issue.

    Thanx Grrrllll ....... :)

  9. What happen's to our college grad's when looking for work? What I commented recently and posted recently ... with the 2 million corporate sponsored legislated and written "LEGAL" immigration from abroad, that is brought in annually ... the job's for our grad's along with the massive outsourcing especially to China and India ... will make job's for graduate's from this country increasingly more difficult over the next decade to come, bank on it. At the rate we are currently moving at ... America could possibly become the largest "service job" country in the world ... that turn's out million's of future graduate's that serve burger's and beer to each other. :)

  10. Also .... as to your question Ms.Leslie as to what happen's to the college kid that tries to work their way through school? Same difference .... but they will be forced into credit card's, school loan's, and more debt than you see now, if their not financed. What one may see in the future no one is seeing yet .... is countries that will grab the most highest scoring student's from America, and bring them to their country and pay their way and career contractually, much corporate sponsored as my youngest daughter was corporate sponsored, being in the top 5% in this nation ... along with government's that are not yet active like this, to this extent, such as Peoples Republic of China, who are going to have a much different face in the future, because of their system of "Technocracy". Also without this action our President having taken out the middle player who for year's been the big banker's controlling fed dollar's for student loan's, we would have been in worse shape (thanx to Obama on this) .... even to the point of a larger gap between the have and have not's so widening in 10 year's from now, that this could (USA)look like the largest 3rd world country in the world in say 20 year's down the road, this is why action now is essential. As far as being educated enough as to economic's or such ... you dont need much education to read and do the math .... I completed 8th grade as my last grade and never went to a high school.

  11. "you dont need much education to read and do the math"

    It's not a case of education - it's a learning disability. I cannot do numbers, period. It's not unlike dyslexia which I also deal with but to a lesser degree and for which I've learned to compensate over a period of time. I will never be able to add a column of single digit numbers in four or more rows - never.

  12. I'm more than a little late in any kind of meaningful discussion on this one. I do agree with RZ that the Republicans haven't gotten us into this mess all by their sweet little selves. Democrats have been just as complicit. They're all greedy and they're all working for themselves.

    I'm not sure I'd mind being able to go back to an agrarian society but I don't even think we can do that. Think of all that damn concrete.

  13. this is really scary! I started seeing the signs when Bush was in his first term. He claimed his jobs numbers were growing but they were 8 dollar an hour jobs! Many were forced to work 2 jobs to make up for the lost wages because they were forced into these "McDonalds jobs"!

  14. During RR is when a lot of jobs started going overseas I think. I can remember Mr. Gotrocks and his business associates (all quite successful) talking in rather subdued tones about the logging industry sending logs to China to be cut into planks and then sent back to the U.S. They were not happy about it even though they were all died in the wool Republicans.

  15. Ms.Leslie .... odd comment somewhat of the number's thing ... I never heard anything like that before. Why it's odd? Looking at all the numerical figure's on job's and wage's you just posted in this post would never make me think that you have any difficulty with number's whatsoever. I just saying your posting's dont reflect that.

    I have a buddy with this dyslexia .... he is also one Hell of a guitarist!

    Thank You Ms.TNlib ....

  16. RC: If I had to average out those figures or come up with percentages I simply couldn't do it. I went through school with teachers thinking I was dumb, lazy or had two heads.

    One day I'm driving down a road and listening to this guy being interviewed on NPR who was describing his problems with numbers. I had to pull over and stop the car. I actually started crying because I could identify with every thing he was saying and for the first time in my life there was someone just like me. Sounds corny - but it's true.

  17. No Ms.Leslie .... it doesnt sound corny at all to me, as a matter of fact ... it is very healthy to respond like that (crying), whatever gender for that matter .... call it psychologically therapuetic I reckon, I cry myself .... and never feel it's corny,I actually express my emotion's in front of other's as well, like crying, it make's me feel better if anything. As far as the learning disabilities .... well what is learning? and by whose standard's? There are also folk's that even lack certain interest's in certain field's or subject's, simply not having interest's as well can effect this. It is only a disability I feel if it put's you in harm's way or bring's you some misery of sort. We all have thing's we may not do that well at .... I certainly have thing's I'm just not any damn good at any way you slice it. We all also have thing's that we do well with. You do fine ... I can tell, and your a smart woman as well, and sharp .... you have really good posting's etc. As far as number's ... it's simply not your cup of tea is about it.

    Thank You for sharing Ms.Leslie ....

  18. Little late commenting. Passing thru small towns in Nevada when we stop at say a McDonalds it ain't kids working there-it's people in their forties. No jobs. Been this way a long time. Doesn't look good. Hasn't been just the Republicans by a long shot, like someone said. It's all the rich people with their hands out, both parties. It's an easy fix-orient the economy back to productive work for Main St and away from phony wealth creation for Wall St-in the same way ending the wars are an easy fix, turn the boats around. But lobbyists and cheats and liars and stupidity makes everything unworkable.

  19. Oso: The rich want to protect what they have and, I hate to say it, but with a few notable exceptions the poor would do the same when and if they became rich.

  20. Ms.TNlib: Concerning your comment's to Mr.Oso, as far as if a poor person say became rich or well off and wanting to protect what's your's/ asset's, etc. This is so true ... that is only natural, and even greed to an extent as I posted time and again is healthy as far as survival. What many common folk's never took the time to look at ... is tax code's and how they are specifically wrote/ legislated to protect those who have more than the average bear, another "tool" importante to learn to a degree. It is already set up to protect those, to where they not just roll over within the familia asset's/ properties/ investment's, but how to do it, so it cant even be touched by taxation, and even valueing those asset's as what they were at purchase compared to what they gained in value over each 20 year span. I have alway's believed that those who earn and invest wisely should reap reward's, and even our President does. But what has happened ... is this game of "extreme" greed ... which mean's again "unbalanced", and when you do anything out of moderation it can become a problem ... and turn once asset's into future liabilities for all affiliated market's. I mean ... I love making money too ... there isnt a day go by where I am not trying to figure out another way to make a buck, and I am not against those who have alot more money than I. Enough said .... Thank You ....

  21. Many thanks to Nance for leading me here. Thank you for this post: I would otherwise have missed this. This reminds me of a book from 10 years ago: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America. A journalist went undercover, trying to see whether she could get by with only minimum wages. Once she got sick, and she very quickly went broke, straight to hell.