Wages By Occupation: Why The Poor Are Getting Poorer

on July 25 2013 12:04 PM

Some 7.9 million jobs were lost in the years after the financial crisis hit, and most of the jobs that have been added since then are low-paying ones.

Even worse, the mean hourly wage for most low-paying occupations has declined since 2007, while mean pay for most higher-skilled, higher-paid jobs have increased, according to calculations based on Occupational Employment Statistics from the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics.

International Business Times took the mean hourly wage data for 2007 and 2012 for the 22 occupational groups as described by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adjusted the numbers for inflation and calculated the percent change in wages. (Here’s a link to a Google spreadsheet with the data and our analysis.)

According to these calculations, the occupational group that experienced the biggest decline in mean hourly pay was Personal Care and Service Occupations, which includes jobs like concierge, childcare workers, baggage porters and bellhops.

The occupational group that saw the largest increase in mean hourly pay was Architecture and Engineering.

These calculations do not take into account chief executives' wages, which often run into the tens of thousands of dollars per hour.

Here’s a chart of the change in mean hourly wages, by occupation, from 2007 to 2012:

mean hourly wages Hourly wages for low-paying jobs are just not keeping up with inflation.  IBTimes/Lisa Mahapatra

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