6 Fast-Growing Jobs With Low Pay

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low wageLow-wage jobs employ close to half of the U.S. workforce (42%), and they’re poised to employ millions more Americans over the next several years. As calls for a higher minimum wage grow louder from workers in the fast food and retail industries, it’s worth looking at exactly who these people are, how many of them there are and how much they make.

The National Employment Law Project, a wage-advocacy group, released a report this month called “The Growing Movement for $15,” in which it analyzes the effects of low wages on those who earn them. Some of the largest occupations with workers earning a median wage of $15 an hour or less, six of the fields are among those projected to see the greatest growth by 2022, according to 2012 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most recent available.

Personal Care Aides

Number of people employed in 2012: 1.19 million

Projected occupation growth from 2012 to 2022: 580,800 jobs (up 48.8%)

Median hourly wage (2014 National Employment Law Profect estimate): $10.35

Share of workers making less than $15 an hour (2014 NELP estimate): 77.9%

Nursing Assistants?

Number of people employed in 2012: 1.48 million

Projected occupation growth from 2012 to 2022: 312,200 jobs (up 21.1%)

Median hourly wage: $12

Share of workers making less than $15 an hour: 72%

Janitors & Cleaners, Except Maids & Housekeepers

Number of people employed in 2012: 2.32 million

Projected occupation growth from 2012 to 2022: 280,000 jobs (up 12.1%)

Median hourly wage: $10.80

Share of workers making less than $15 an hour: 75.2%

Materials ? Shipping, Movers & Packers

Number of people employed in 2012: 2.20 million:

Projected occupation growth from 2012 to 2022: 241,900 jobs (up 11%)

Median hourly wage: $14

Share of workers making less than $15 an hour: 54.9%

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