May 20, 2011
Retail salespersons and cashiers were the occupations with the highest employment in 2010. These two occupations combined made up nearly 6 percent of total U.S. employment.
The 10 largest occupations accounted for more than 20 percent of total employment in May 2010. In addition to retail salespersons and cashiers, the largest occupations included general office clerks; combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; registered nurses; and waiters and waitresses.
In May 2010, three of the largest occupations were office and administrative support jobs, helping to make office and administrative support the largest occupational group overall, representing 17 percent of total employment. The next largest groups were sales and related occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations, which made up about 11 and 9 percent of U.S. employment, respectively.
The smallest occupational groups included legal occupations and life, physical, and social science occupations, each representing around 1 percent of total employment in May 2010. Most employment in these two groups came from occupations with above average wages, such as judges, with an hourly mean wage of $50.67; arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators ($31.95); medical scientists, except epidemiologists ($41.69); and physicists ($53.86).
Among the major occupational groups in May 2010, sales and related occupations had the highest share of its employment in the private sector—nearly 100 percent.