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Census 2000 and Labor Statistics
  Division of Labor  

Half of the U.S. population currently participates in the nation's labor force. Among 148 million wage and salary workers, 79.2 million are men and 68.7 million are women, representing sixty-six percent of the civilian noninstitutional population over 16 years old. The average worker in 2003 earned an annual wage of $36,210. Earnings averaged $17.18 per hour for all workers (in private industry and State and local government), with White-collar* occupations averaging $21.09 per hour, and Blue-collar* occupations averaging 14.51 per hour. Labor union members account for 13 percent of wage and salary workers nationwide**, with membership varying greatly by state, from 25 percent in New York to just 3 percent in North Carolina. Over 7 million workers hold down at least two jobs, and in well over half of these cases one of the jobs held is full-time. Ten percent of workers have worked for their current employer more than 20 years, while the median duration on the job is 3.7 years. Seventy-seven percent of workers drive alone to work and spend an average of 24.4 minutes getting there.

* White-collar includes: Professional specialty and technical; Executive, administrative, and managerial; Sales; and Administrative support occupations. Blue-collar includes: Precision production, craft, and repair; Machine operators, assemblers, and inspectors; Transportation and material moving; Handlers, equipment cleaners, helpers, and laborers. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2002). ** Union membership as a percentage of the labor force peaked at 34.7% in 1954.
10 Most Common Jobs in the United States
(From 509 Detailed Occupational Categories; Source: Census 2000)
OCCUPATION No. of Employees
  1) Secretaries and Administrative. Assistants 3.9 million
  2) Retail Salespersons 3.6 million
  3) Driver / Sales Workers / Truck Drivers 3.3 million
  4) Elementary & Middle School Teachers 3.1 million
  5) Cashiers 3.1 million
  6) First Line Supervisors / Mgrs of Retail Sales Workers 2.8 million
  7) Registered Nurses 2.3 million
  8) Customer Service Reps 2.1 million
  9) Janitors and Bldg Cleaners 2.0 million
10) Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers 2.0 million
Average Annual Wage* by State 2003
Top 10 Multiple Job Holding States 2003
(U.S. Average: 5.3 Percent of Labor Force)
STATE 2003 Percent
of Labor Force
  1) North Dakota 9.7
  2) Nebraska 9.4
  3) Utah 9.0
  4) Vermont 8.9
  5) Kansas 8.6
  6) Minnesota 8.5
  7) Montana 8.5
  8) Wyoming 8.3
  9) Idaho 8.1
10) Maine 7.9
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