The occupational groups with the lowest average wages in 2002 were the food preparation and serving related occupations; farming, fishing, and forestry occupations; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations; and personal care and service occupations.
Two of these four groups had average wages of less than $10.00 per hour. Food preparation and serving jobs averaged $8.26 per hour and farming, fishing, and forestry jobs averaged $9.72 per hour. Those in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance were paid $10.02 per hour on average and those in personal care and service jobs were paid $10.27 per hour on average.
In each of these four groups except for building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, over half of all workers averaged less than $8.50 per hour. (About 44 percent of those in the cleaning and maintenance group were paid under $8.50 per hour.)
The BLS Occupational Employment Statistics program produced these data. Find more information on wages by occupation in 2002 in "Occupational Employment and Wages, 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 03-741.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Lowest paying occupations in 2002 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2003/dec/wk1/art02.htm (visited December 03, 2023).