Job Matters

by Elaine Schwartz    •    May 28, 2011    •    547 Views

Where do we work and how much do we earn?

In the entire U.S., there are 2830 mathematicians, 3220 historians, and 225,450 fitness trainers and aerobic instructors. Employing 7.6 million, the largest occupational group is salespeople and cashiers. Here, you can see a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) list of how many of us do what.

You can also check out where people earn more. On this map illustrating BLS statistics, people in the red labeled areas earn less while the green areas earn more. Red clusters extend from Florida, up to Virginia and then westward to Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Green concentrations are located along the West Coast and Middle Atlantic states.

Finally, which job groups earn the least and the most? The WSJ tells us that “20% of the work force…[included] the worst paying positions.” With salespeople and cashiers among the lowest paid, predictably, physicians and lawyers are close to the top.  Also, though, there are some surprises.

The Economic Lesson

Numbering close to 150 million people, the U.S. labor force includes people who are:

  • 16 years old or older
  • employed
  • unemployed and looking for a paying job

An Economic Question: As a presidential candidate, which job facts would you believe are most important? Suggest economic policy proposals that relate to the job facts you cite.


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