Retail salespersons: occupation with highest employment in 2010

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.

Occupations with the highest employment in the United States, May 2010 Retail salespersonsCashiersGeneral office clerksCombined food preparation & serving workers including fast foodRegistered nursesWaiters and waitressesCustomer service representativesJanitors & cleaners except maids & housekeeping cleanersLaborers & freight, stock, & material movers, handSecretaries and admin. assistants, except legal, medical, & executive
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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.

Percent of total employment and mean hourly wage, selected major occupational groups, May 2010ManagementLegalLife, physical and social scienceHealthcare practitioner and technicalEducation, training and libraryProtective serviceCommunity and social serviceSales and relatedOffice and administrative supportFood preparation and serving related
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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.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see, "Occupational Employment and Wages – May 2010" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-0722.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Retail salespersons: occupation with highest employment in 2010 on the Internet at (visited January 24, 2017).


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