The 8 Lowest-Paying Jobs in America - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The 8 Lowest-Paying Jobs in America

MSNBC.COM - The United States may soon have to replace the expression, "the land of opportunity," with "the land of low wages."

While the job market may still look grim for those looking to replace their good-paying office or manufacturing jobs, opportunities are expected to abound for a host of jobs paying less than $10 an hour, everything from cashiers to home care aides.

"If you look at the job growth distribution of the last two recoveries, it suggests we're going to see growth of a lot more lower-income jobs," said Peter Creticos, president and executive director for the Institute for Work and the Economy. He said that the lowest net growth was among middle-income jobs, such as manufacturing or office jobs, in the prior two recoveries. It remains to be seen what will happen with this recovery, he added, but "there is no indication this recovery will be any different."

Low-wage jobs have always been part of the economic landscape, but wages have been suppressed for many years now. Part of the reason is supply and demand, Creticos said, as the huge baby boomer labor pool flooded the job market and, thanks to the bad economy, are working longer, many past retirement age.

Creticos calls this phenomenon the "down-waging" of American jobs.

Many of the lowest-paying jobs were once seen as the domain of younger workers who were first starting out in the work world, but increasingly these positions are survival jobs for midcareer folks who have been downsized, said Randall Hansen, a workplace expert with Quintessential Careers.

Here's a rundown of the eight jobs that are among the lowest-paying in the nation, from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics: (All the wages on the list include the mean, or midpoint, hourly rate.)

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