Friday, August 2, 2013

Who’s Hiring in the U.S. and What They Pay

Via MarketWatch

Professional and Business Services

The segment of the economy that has added the most jobs since the recession ended in June 2009 is classified as “professional and business services.” About 2.12 million jobs have been created for architects, engineers, scientists, managers, computer geeks, and yes, journalists.

This is normally high-paying work with an average hourly wage of $28.41 an hour, which translates into $1,136 a week. But there is a wide range. Some occupations such as computer design pay more than $40 an hour and others like upholstery cleaning pay less than $20 an hour.

Unfortunately, almost half of the new professional jobs since mid-2009 were created at temporary-hiring agencies. The work doesn’t always lead to a full-time job and these positions pay far less: $15.74 an hour. Many people clearly like temp jobs, but others have no choice.

The percentage of temps in the private-sector workforce has nearly matched an all-time high of 2.4% set at the end of the Internet boom in early 2000.

 Leisure and Hospitality

The leisure and hospitality trades have created 1.15 million new jobs in the past four years and now employ more workers than ever. That’s a lot of new jobs for waiters, tour guides, ticket vendors and hotel cleaners.

A surge in these kind of jobs is a double-edged sword. When consumers spend more going out to bars, restaurants, museums and casinos, they are feeling better about the economy and the security of their own jobs. That usually signals better times ahead.

On the other hand, this line of work doesn’t pay especially well: just $13.45 an hour. If tips are included, the pay is somewhat better but not enough for most single earners to raise a family.

 Health-Care Industry

The medical profession didn’t slow down much even during the worst of the 2007-2009 downturn. The health-care industry generated 1.02 million jobs in the past four years and remains one of the fastest growing parts of the economy. It now employs 14.57 million people.

Or how about this. The health-care industry has added jobs every year since the government first began to keep track in 1990. The average pay is also pretty darn good: $26.53 an hour ($55,000 a year).

Clearly a large slice of the hiring reflects the aging of the Baby Boomers and the need for health providers to cater to their needs


Retailers have boosted employment by 650,000 since the recession ended, making the industry the fourth fastest growing segment of the economy.

Yet in a sign of lingering weakness in the U.S., the retail industry is still a half-million jobs short of its high-water mark of 15.6 million workers. Scarred by the Great Recession, Americans just aren’t spending as much.

Nor is retail a lucrative line of work. The average salary is just $16.63 an hour — about 30% less than the nationwide average. And the average employee works less than 32 hours a week, partly reflecting the volatility of consumer-shopping patterns. Retailers don’t need the same number of workers each month.

1 comment:

  1. "he health-care industry has added jobs every year since the government first began to keep track in 1990".

    At this rate, it won't be long before the average american spends 95 cents of every dollar on "health" care. How is this sustainable?