Tuesday, April 01, 2014



IWS Documented News Service


Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau







[full-text, 23 pages]


Retail salespersons and cashiers were the occupations with the largest employment

in May 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. These two occupations

combined made up nearly 6 percent of total U.S. employment, with employment levels of

4.5 million and 3.3 million, respectively. National employment and wage information for all

occupations is shown in table 1.


The data in this release are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

program, which provides employment and wage estimates by area and by industry for

wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups, 94 minor occupational groups,

458 broad occupations, and 821 detailed occupations.




--The 10 largest occupations accounted for 21 percent of total employment in

  May 2013. In addition to retail salespersons and cashiers, the largest occupations

  included combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; general

  office clerks; registered nurses; waiters and waitresses; and customer service



--Most of the largest occupations were relatively low paying. Of the 10 largest

  occupations, only registered nurses, with an annual mean wage of $68,910, had an

  average wage above the U.S. all-occupations mean of $22.33 per hour or $46,440

  annually. Annual mean wages for the rest of the 10 largest occupations ranged from

  $18,880 for combined food preparation and serving workers to $34,000 for secretaries

  and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive.


--Office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making

  up about 16 percent of total U.S. employment. The next largest groups were sales and

  related occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations, which

  made up nearly 11 percent and 9 percent of U.S. employment, respectively. Seven of the 10

  largest occupations were in one of these three groups. Legal occupations and life,

  physical, and social science occupations were among the smallest occupational groups,

  each making up less than 1 percent of total employment.


--The highest paying occupational groups were management, legal, computer and

  mathematical, and architecture and engineering occupations. Most detailed occupations

  in these groups were also high paying. For example, all 19 computer and mathematical

  occupations had average wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean, ranging from

  $50,450 for computer user support specialists to $109,260 for computer and

  information research scientists. (See table 1.)


--The lowest paying occupational groups were food preparation and serving related;

  farming, fishing, and forestry; personal care and service; building and grounds

  cleaning and maintenance; and healthcare support occupations. Annual mean wages

  for these groups ranged from $21,580 for food preparation and serving related

  occupations to $28,300 for healthcare support occupations. With few exceptions,

  the detailed occupations in these groups had below-average wages. For example,

  occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants were the only

  healthcare support occupations with mean wages above the U.S. all-occupations

  mean. (See table 1.)


Occupational profiles for all occupations are available on the BLS website at



Private and government employers


--The private sector accounted for over 90 percent of employment in more than half

  of the 821 detailed occupations, including 6 of the 10 largest occupations in the

  U.S. Almost all of the 4.5 million retail sales workers, 3.3 million cashiers, and

  2.4 million waiters and waitresses were employed in the private sector. Among the

  10 largest occupations in the private sector, general and operations managers and

  registered nurses had the highest wages, with annual mean wages of $117,210 and

  $69,060, respectively.


--Five of the 6 largest occupations in the public sector were teaching occupations:

  elementary school teachers, except special education; middle school teachers,

  except special and career/technical education; secondary school teachers, except

  special and career/technical education; teacher assistants; and substitute teachers.

  Over 75 percent of employment in each of these occupations was in the public sector,

  and for each, over 95 percent of their public sector employment was in local govern-

  ment. Other occupations with a large share of employment in local government included

  firefighters, police and sheriff's patrol officers, and water and wastewater treat-

  ment plant and system operators.


--Correctional officers and jailers; general office clerks; registered nurses; and

  secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

  were the largest occupations in state government. Combined, these four occupations

  accounted for 15 percent of all state government employment. Other large occupations

  in state government included graduate teaching assistants and postsecondary health

  specialties teachers.


--Three of the 5 largest occupations in the federal government were specific to

  the U.S. Postal Service--postal service mail carriers; postal service mail sorters,

  processors, and processing machine operators; and postal service clerks--which

  combined accounted for 19 percent of federal employment. Also among the largest

  federal government occupations were registered nurses, management analysts,

  compliance officers, and transportation security screeners.


OES data by ownership are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current/





--Health care and social assistance was the industry sector with the largest

  employment in May 2013. Four major occupational groups made up about 77 percent

  of employment within this industry sector: healthcare practitioners and technical,

  healthcare support, office and administrative support, and personal care and service.

  Registered nurses, nursing assistants, and personal care aides were the largest

  detailed occupations in the health care and social assistance sector, with about

  2.3 million, 1.3 million, and 1.0 million jobs, respectively. Nearly 71 percent of

  registered nurses in the health care and social assistance sector were employed in

  hospitals, about 62 percent of nursing assistants in the sector were employed by

  nursing and residential care facilities, and about 47 percent of personal care aides

  in the sector were employed in the social assistance subsector.


--Other large industry sectors in May 2013 included retail trade, educational services,

  accommodation and food services, and manufacturing. More than half of retail trade

  employment was in just three occupations: retail salespersons, cashiers, and stock

  clerks and order fillers. Education, training, and library occupations and office

  and administrative support occupations made up about 69 percent of employment in

  the educational services sector, including 7 of the 10 largest occupations within the

  sector. Food preparation and serving related occupations made up nearly 81 percent

  of employment in the accommodation and food services sector and production occupations

  made up over half of employment in manufacturing.


--In industries with the highest mean wages, the largest occupations tended to have

  wages well above average. For example, the two largest occupations in securities

  and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage--securities, commodities, and

  financial services sales agents, and personal financial advisors--had annual mean

  wages of $130,800 and $104,900, respectively. These two occupations combined made

  up about 41 percent of total industry employment. Similarly, the largest occupa-

  tions in computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing included systems software

  developers, applications software developers, and computer hardware engineers,

  which had annual mean wages ranging from $108,140 to $112,080.


--Restaurants and other eating places had the lowest mean wage of any industry in

  May 2013 at $21,720. Eleven of the 12 largest detailed occupations in this industry

  had wages that averaged less than $23,000. Several of the lowest-paying industries

  were in the retail trade sector, including gasoline stations, clothing stores,

  and department stores. Cashiers, with an annual mean wage of $18,930, made up 66

  percent of employment in gasoline stations. Retail salespersons was the largest

  occupation in both clothing stores and department stores, with mean wages of

  $21,890 and $21,950, respectively.


OES data by industry are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current



States and areas


--States with high total employment tended to have the highest employment of

  many detailed occupations. For example, Florida, New York, and California had

  the highest employment of baggage porters and bellhops. However, smaller states

  often had higher-than-average shares of employment for particular occupations.

  For example, Nevada had nearly 8 times the concentration of baggage porters and

  bellhops and Hawaii had nearly 7 times the concentration when compared to the



--Similarly, the largest metropolitan areas tended to have the highest numbers

  of jobs in many detailed occupations, but smaller metropolitan areas often had

  higher concentrations of specific occupations. For example, New York-Northern New

  Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa., had the highest employment of rehabilitation

  counselors, although the concentration of this occupation in the metropolitan

  area was about average. On the other hand, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, had a concen-

  tration of rehabilitation counselors roughly 8 times that of the U.S. and Mount

  Vernon-Anacortes, Wash., had nearly 7 times the concentration.


--Wages for occupations also varied considerably across states and metropolitan

  areas. For example, annual mean wages for advertising sales agents ranged

  from $32,220 in Wyoming and $35,800 in Louisiana, to $70,080 in Connecticut

  and $76,470 in New York. Wages for this occupation varied even more by area than

  by state: among metropolitan areas with at least 100 advertising sales agents,

  annual mean wages ranged from $26,880 in Joplin, Mo., and $27,410 in Lake Charles,

  La., to $80,840 in New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J., and $96,760 in Danbury,



OES data, including location quotients, by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan

area are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and

www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, respectively.



AND MORE...including TABLES....




This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.



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