Lowest paying occupations in May 2004
June 01, 2005
The lowest paying occupation in May 2004 was fast food cooks, who earned $7.33 per hour, on average.
The next three lowest paying occupations—combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers; and dishwashers—were also related to food preparation and serving.
Seven of the ten occupations with average wages of $8.00 per hour or less were related to food preparation and serving. Other, not food related, occupations with low wages were shampooers; gaming dealers; and amusement and recreation attendants.
The major occupational group with the lowest average wages in May 2004 was food preparation and serving related occupations. Over 65 percent of workers employed in food preparation and serving related occupations earned less than $8.50 per hour.
These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. Wages for the OES survey are straight-time, gross pay, exclusive of premium pay. Base rate, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, commissions, production bonuses, tips, and on-call pay are included. More estimates of occupational employment and wages of wage and salary workers in nonfarm industries are published in Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2004 (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-877.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Lowest paying occupations in May 2004 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2005/may/wk5/art02.htm (visited August 11, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.
- Meal Appeal: Patterns of Expenditures on Food away from Home
Examines spending on food away from home, such as meals or snacks from restaurants, vending machines, employer cafeterias, or other venues.
- Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules in 2017–18
Examines data on job flexibilities, such as working at home, flexible schedules, and shift work.