Friday, May 14, 2010

Occupational Employment and Wages in 2009

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data from the Occupational Employment Statistics program, which provides employment and wage estimates for workers in 22 major occupational groups and 801 specific occupations nationwide.

The BLS found that in 2009, retail salespersons, cashiers, general office clerks, combined food preparation and serving workers, and registered nurses were among the occupations with the highest employment numbers in the US. Occupations with the lowest employment nationwide included watch repairers, astronomers, and radio operators.

Most of the occupations with large employment numbers in 2009 were relatively low-paying. For example, cashiers rang up $9.15 per hour in wages, and food preparation and serving workers earned $8.71 per hour. These wages fall far below the average hourly wage of $20.90 for all occupations nationwide. Registered nurses represented one occupation with both large employment numbers and relatively high wages; they earned an average of $31.99 per hour in 2009.

Full details are available in the BLS news release. The BLS also provides employment and wage information for states, metropolitan areas, and nonmetropolitan areas at

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