High Growth Jobs Require Safety Net

Copyright@PeggyWireman

This table shows that the families of millions of workers will need the government safety net programs to support their families. Many of the fastest growing jobs do not provide high enough wages to keep even a small family from poverty. The table below ties jobs to the number of people who could be supported by a worker holding that job. It is based on the self-sufficiency standard. That standard was developed by the Wider Opportunties for Women organization to provide a modest standard of living without charity or government assistance. Families can afford housing, food, health care, childcare and a car (used to go to work and one shopping trip a week). There are no funds for education, entertainment, savings for retirement or ANY MEALS EATEN OUTSIDE THE HOME. Although the full calculations take geography into account, most experts indicate that the self-sufficiency standard is basically about twice the federal poverty standard.

IF ALL THE WORKERS NOT MAKING ENOUGH TO SUPPORT EVEN A SMALL FAMILY QUIT TOMORROW, THE COUNTRY WOULD SHUT DOWN. IF YOU READ THE LISTS, YOU WILL SEE THAT WE WOULD HAVE NO STORES, NO HOSPITALS, NO CHILD CARE CENTERS AND NO OFFICES.

For further information contact the author, Dr. Peggy Wireman at wireman1234@sbcglobal.net (608) 221 4470 (608) 772 4470 (cell) The table may be reproduced with Copyright@PeggyWireman. The data is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.

Growth Jobs (2010-2020) and the Self-Sufficiency Standard

The thirty-seven occupations listed here represent 50.3% of the total job growth projected between 2010 and 2020.1 Values by each occupation represent the median annual full-time income for the occupation in 2010. In 2010, a self-sufficiency standard (two times the poverty level) in the continental United States was $21,660 for one, $29,140 for two, $36,620 for three, $44,100 for four, and $51,580 for five per family.2

Occupations where median income is not sufficient to support even one individual at a self‑sufficiency standard

Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food...................... $17,950

Waiters and Waitresses.............................................................................................. $18,330

Cashiers..................................................................................................................... $18,500

Childcare Workers..................................................................................................... $19,300

Personal Care Aides................................................................................................... $19,640

Home Health Aides.................................................................................................... $20,560

Retail Salespersons..................................................................................................... $20,670

These seven occupations represent 3.13 million jobs or 15.3% of total additional jobs (up 2.9% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

Occupations where median income is sufficient to support only one individual at a self‑sufficiency standard

Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners................................ $22,210

Teacher Assistants................................................................................................... $23,220

Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers................................................................. $23,400

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand............................................ $23,460

Security Guards........................................................................................................... $23,920

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants.................................................................... $24,010

Receptionists and Information Clerks........................................................................ $25,240

Office Clerks, General................................................................................................ $26,610

Medical Assistants...................................................................................................... $28,860

These nine occupations represent 2.40 million jobs or 11.7% of total additional jobs (up 1.4% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

Occupations where median income is sufficient to support only two individuals at a self‑sufficiency standard

Construction Laborers................................................................................................ $29,280

Customer Service Representatives.............................................................................. $30,460

Medical Secretaries..................................................................................................... $30,530

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks.......................................................... $34,030

Maintenance and Repair Workers, General................................................................. $34,730

First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers........................................................... $35,820

These six occupations represent 1.30 million jobs or 6.3% of total additional jobs (down 1.4% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

Occupations where median income is sufficient to support only three individuals at a self‑sufficiency standard

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.................................................................. $37,770

Carpenters................................................................................................................. $39,530

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses..................................................... $40,380

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants.................................. $43,520

These four occupations represent 850,600 jobs or 4.2% of total additional jobs (down 0.8% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

Occupations where median income is sufficient to support only four individuals at a self‑sufficiency standard

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers........................ $47,460

Electricians................................................................................................................ $48,250

These two occupations represent 337,100 jobs or 1.6% of total additional jobs (down 1.0% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

Occupations where median income is sufficient to support five or more individuals at least at a self‑sufficiency standard

Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education............................................. $51,660

Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, Except Technical and Scientific Products $52,440

First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers..................... $58,680

Accountants and Auditors.......................................................................................... $61,690

Postsecondary Teachers............................................................................................. $62,050

Registered Nurses....................................................................................................... $64,690

Management Analysts................................................................................................ $78,160

Software Developers, Applications............................................................................. $87,790

Physicians and Surgeons....................................................................... greater than $166,400

These nine occupations represent 2.28 million jobs or 11.1% of total additional jobs (down 1.3% from the 2008-2018 projections for occupations in this category).

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012, January 27). Occupational data from the National Employment Matrix, 2010 (XLS). Retrieved February 21, 2012, from ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ep/ind-occ.matrix/occupation.xls. In this analysis, the 37 occupations with the most new jobs were considered. These 37 occupations represent 50.3% of additional jobs.

2. Sebelius K. (2010, August 3). Delayed update of the HHS poverty guidelines for the remainder of 2010. Federal Register 75(148): 45628-9. Retrieved April 25, 2012, from http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/10fedreg.pdf. In 2010, the poverty level in the 48 contiguous states & DC was $10,830 for the first person, & $3,740 for each additional person in a family.

Waldron, T., Roberts, B., & Reamer, A. (2004, October). Working hard, falling short. America’s working families and the pursuit of economic security. p. 30. Prepared for The Working Poor Families Project. Chevy Chase, MD: Authors. Retrieved January 31, 2010 from http://www.aecf.org/upload/publicationfiles/working%20hard.pdf.

A number of experts use a value of two times the poverty level as an estimate of an economic self‑sufficiency standard. This value has been used here. In 2010, a self-sufficiency standard in the 48 contiguous states & DC was $21,660 for the first person, & $7,480 for each additional person in a family.

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