When we are talking of lowest paying jobs in USA, we have to emphasis that the U.S. may soon need to replace the term, “land of opportunity,” with “land of low wages.”
Although the job market might still look bleak for those looking to replace their good-paid office or manufacturing work, there are supposed to be ample prospects for a variety of positions paying less than $10 an hour, from cashiers to home care aids.
“If you look at the job growth distribution of the last two recoveries, it suggests we ‘re going to see a lot more lowest paying jobs in USA ” said Peter Creticos, Institute for Work and the Economy president and executive director. He said the lowest net growth in the previous two recoveries was among middle-income jobs, such as manufacturing or office workers. What will happen with this recovery remains to be seen, he added, but “there’s no indication that this recovery will be any different.”
Lowest paying jobs in America have always been part of the economic landscape but for many years now wages have been suppressed. Part of the reason for this is supply and demand, Creticos said, as the massive baby boomer labor pool flooded the job market and everyone past retirement age were working longer, due to the poor economy.
Creticos calls that phenomenon “low-paying jobs that are worth it”
Many of the lowest paying jobs in America were once seen as the domain of younger workers who started out in the world of work for the first time, but these positions are increasingly survival jobs for downsized midcareer folks, said Randall Hansen, a job expert with Quintessential Careers.
Lowest Paying Jobs in USA
Here’s a rundown of the eight workers from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that are among the lowest paying jobs in USA: (All salaries on the list represent the average, or midpoint, hourly rate.)
1. Preparation and serving of food to workers including fast food
In 2008 at Kentucky Fried Chicken in Indianapolis, Rufus Burnley was carrying a tray of grilled chicken.
Unfortunately, this job category has the not-so-great distinction of being the country’s lowest-wage gig bringing in a measly $8.71 per hour, or $18,000 per annum. Most of these jobs require minimal training and many are part-time jobs.
Given the little salary, long hours and hard work, these jobs are held by lots of people. The occupation is now the country’s fourth-largest with 2.7 million workers.
This type of work, which in the next decade the BLS projects will increase by 10 per cent, is often seen as a dead-end job. However, if you have aspirations to go into hospitality management one day, it is a good idea to spend some time in the trenches, Quintessential Careers’ Hansen suggested. But not too long, he added, or in management ‘s eyes you risk being seen as a grunt worker.
In the United States, there are roughly half a million dishwashers, and they earn around $8.81 an hour.
Florida is the territory with the most dishwashers, with 42,000. That state also pays $8.62 for the job among the lowest hourly wage while Nevada pays the highest at $11.29 per hour.
Training is limited to zero but dishwashing jobs are often seen as a stepping stone to employment as restaurant servers or other food service establishments.
When he was twelve, Michael Dell — who went on to found Dell Computer — got a job at a Chinese restaurant as a dishwasher and was soon promoted to maitre d’.
Target cashier Dino Pacheco bags items for a customer as he rings them up at a Target store in Daly City, Calif, in 2008.
From fast-food stores to clothing stores you can find cashiers everywhere.
The job is No. 2 on the BLS list of the biggest occupations with a workforce of approximately 3.3 million, behind only 4.2 million retail sales people.
Yet unfortunately the pay is crummy. Cashiers make $9.15 per hour, or $19,000 per annum; about half of those who work cash registers are part timers.
Although most cashiers are trained on the job, they typically require some understanding of math, and according to the BLS, many employers prefer applicants with high school diplomas. For these positions, background checks are often required because the workers handle the money.
The career has a high turnover rate, and the government expects the outlook for this category of work to be strong, but in the next decade it is expected to grow at just 4 per cent.
4. Hostesses and hosts
Upon going out to eat, you may never think to tip your host or hostess. Well, you might have to think over again.
Both workers offer $9.23 an hour, compared to $9.80 an hour for the waiters.
They may not do the sort of heavy lifting the waiting staff does, but when you get to the restaurant or lounge door it is not just about welcoming you. They are also taking reservations, directing you to the bathroom and sometimes acting as cashiers. And they have to do all of that, usually wearing a nice outfit — or at least as good as they can afford at a $19,000 annual salary. Forget that Armani.
5. Those visiting amusement parks
Florida and California, lands of amusement wonder, with 30.410 and 40.640 workers respectively, top the list of most employed in this profession.
Jobs in this group make $9.57 an hour in California; but in Disney World Land Florida, the pay is $8.90 an hour. Unfortunately Mickey Mouse does not spread the joy to the hands of the staff. Wages are below the national mean hourly wage of $9.35 an hour for those jobs.
These employees, who typically get on-the-job training and are expected to have good customer service skills, do everything from collecting tickets while waiting in line to ride the latest roller coaster to removing unruly patrons who’ve had too much cotton candy.
6. Movie theater, ticket-takers.
You ‘re in luck, if you’re a movie buff. The BLS expects work to leap nearly 12 per cent in the next 10 years for ushers and ticket takers.
Watching all the films you want is a great benefit, particularly given the wages you’ll bring home — $9.43 an hour.
But getting a job at your local theater as usher doesn’t mean you ‘re going to end up in Hollywood. The job is listed as “movie picture and video industries” under the BLS, but not even the government gives it much credibility.
From the website of the Labor Department: “Most jobs are entrance-level positions, which require little training and are not covered in this statement.”
7. Farm labourers
A farmer holds a bucket of tomatoes selected in Homestead, Fla, June 4.
Often cited as Americans don’t want the job, farm workers make $9.51 an hour and most of the work is seasonal, challenging and dangerous. About seven in ten farm workers are born outside the US.
The bulk of these jobs, nearly 150,000 out of a total of 233,000 jobs, are in California, and while in the fields, workers learn quickly.
As for the outlook for this category, the BLS said, “Job opportunities should be abundant for agricultural worker occupations because large numbers of workers leave these jobs because of their low wages and physical demands.”
8. Home and personal care helpers
Over the next 10 years, the job opportunities in this sector are projected to increase by almost 50 percent, above and beyond the 630,000 people doing the work right now. The government expects the huge jump due to the population’s graying and the treatment they will need to cope with the growing health problems they will face. As a consequence, if they stay at home they’ll need support.
According to the BLS, the work can be grueling and unpleasant, including tasks “like emptying bedpans and changing soiled bed linens. Patients can be disoriented, irritable or uncooperative. Although their job may be emotionally taxing, many helpers are happy with helping those in need.
If only these physically demanding lowest paying jobs in USA would pay a little better. Workers doing this job at $9.75 an hour — who have a high rate of work-related illnesses and injuries — will not be able to put away a lot of money to care for themselves in their golden years.