Most Of Top 10 Biggest Job Categories Make Less Than $30K

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Living is expensive. And if you want to find out how challenging it can be, a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics can tell you who to ask. Looking at data from May 2014, the BLS found the occupations with the largest employment for that month and then added the average annual wages.The ten most popular occupations made up 21 percent of all employment in the country. They included cashiers, fast food workers, office clerks, registered nurses, customer service representatives, waiters and waitresses, laborers and material movers, secretaries and administrative assistants (not medical, legal, or executive), and commercial janitors and cleaners.

Of all these, only registered nurses had an average wage that was higher than the average wage for the entire country. In other words, the largest occupations were largely low paying, with the lowest annual wage of $19,110 for food preparation and serving workers, which includes fast food. Here are the numbers.
Occupation Employment Mean average wage
Retail salespersons 4,562,160 $25,760
Cashiers 3,398,330 $20,640
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 3,131,390 $19,110
Office clerks, general 2,889,970 $30,820
Registered nurses 2,687,310 $69,790
Customer service representatives 2,511,130 $33,890
Waiters and waitresses 2,445,230 $21,640
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 2,400,490 $27,180
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive 2,207,220 $34,500
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 2,137,730 $25,460

If many people have trouble making ends meet, this is a big reason why. Also, many low-paying jobs don't provide benefits, such as health care and sick days, putting even more pressure on what people earn.
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