Paltry Wages at Most Common US Jobs

More fuel for the income inequality debate: employees at America’s most common jobs are scraping by on less than $30,000 a year, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 4.3 million employees in retail sales—the most common job in the U.S.—were paid only $25,310 on average in 2012. Food prep workers, the third most common job, earned a paltry $18,720—a far cry from the nation’s average annual income of $47,950. The latest numbers reflect the decline of the middle class (median household income has dropped more than $4,000 since 2000). More than half of the jobs created during the economic recovery have been low-wage positions, according to the National Employment Law Project.