Some Surprising Labor Day Statistics

Work Road SignEvery year, we celebrate a long Labor Day weekend, and mostly take for granted the remarkable economic engine that employs 125.89 million Americans.

Recently, Forbes magazine tweeted a number of Labor Day statistics that will probably surprise you.

Most Americans work in one of five different sectors:

14% in professional and business services
13.5% in production and manufacturing
13.4% in state or local government
13.2% in healthcare and social assistance
11.0% retail

Most of us work long hours:

Less than 40 hours – 8%
40 hours – 42%
41-49 hours – 11%
50-59 hours – 21%
60+ hours – 18%

Some of the lowest-paid jobs have the slimmest gender pay gap:

Office/administrative support (Men’s average salary: $30,301. Women’s: $28,462)
Community/social services (Men: $40,502. Women: $37,561)
Healthcare support (Men: $25,415. Women: $22,079)

In 2015, 24% of employed people did some or all of their work at home.

What are the highest paying jobs in America? The website lists the top 300 jobs in term of average salary, and the top of the list is dominated by medical professionals:

Anesthesiologists: $258,100
Surgeons: $247,520
Oral surgeons: $233,900
Obstetricians and gynecologists: $222,400
Orthodontists: $221,390
Radiologists, pathologists, neurologists, allergists and immunologists, urologists, preventive medicine physicians, ophthalmologists, hospitalists, sports medicine physicians, physical medicine and rehab physicians, nuclear medicine physicians and dermatologists all finish in a tie for sixth ($197,700).
You have to go all the way down to number 22 on the list, to chief executives, before you reach a non-medical professional.

Lawyers come in way down at number 38 ($136,260), physicists come in at number 50 ($118,500), economists at number 77 ($109,230), art directors at 105 ($101,990), veterinarians at 112 ($99,000), automotive engineers at 171 ($88,190) and video game designers at 190 ($87,310).

Finally, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 5.4 million companies that provide employment for American workers, with an annual payroll totaling $5.6 trillion, or roughly $48,997 per employee. A surprising 8.9% of these employer firms (481,981) have been in business for fewer than 2 years, and only 3.1% of them (167,917) have existed for more than 16 years. Most firms (78.5% of the total) employ fewer than ten workers, while 17,982 companies employ 500 or more Americans.

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One Response to Some Surprising Labor Day Statistics

  1. Don Van Etten September 8, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    I note that dentists are not mentioned at all and it is my impression that many dentists are making more than
    physicians today.