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 Minimum Wage Jobs Flourish in USA  :  Published February 2007 All Rights Reserved


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Minimum Wage Jobs Flourish in USA


Competition is extremely tight for jobs in the United States, but these positions are not high-paid professional jobs -- they are service sector jobs with a nationwide average pay of less than $10 per hour. Before you pack your bags and board a plane to the United States, consider that even at $10 per hour, taxes reduce the hourly wage to at least $7 per hour if not less. In New York City the absolute minimum hourly rate to qualify for a "room" is three times the amount or $21 per hour (based upon a 40-hour work week.)

With more minimum-wage jobs available than candidates it becomes increasingly difficult for employers to retain talent especially for part-time and hourly roles reported Planned Administrators Inc. Marketing director Susan Nicolai said as increases in minimum wage jobs becomes a reality -- business experts are looking at other sources in 2007 to attract and retain employees – one option being limited benefit health insurance for hourly and part-time employees. Most employers in the United States do not offer benefits for non-salaried workers.  Nicolai suggested employers use EssentialCare, which is underwritten by BCS and administered by Planned Administrators, as a way to attract and retain minimum wage paid employees. 

Online job behemoth Monster.com reported too that during January 2007 minimum wage jobs postings rose dramatically, but so did triple-digit salaried employee positions for investment banking. Monster's employment index rose 17 points from January 2005 to 168 after having fallen in December 2006 from a peak of 175 in November.

Monthly payroll growth during 2007 is expected to average 130,000 jobs per month compared with an average of more than 150,000 per month during 2006, according to said Steve Pogorzelski, group president at Monster Worldwide.

January's increase in job postings showed a sharp contrasts between what types of jobs are now on offer in the United States. Dramatic increases went to transportation (drivers,) warehousing (stock and inventory jobs,) and utilities. Monster reported a  sharp increase in company management roles,  reflecting high demand for labor among "holding companies" operating on Wall Street. Qualifications for the higher-end jobs (at a minimum) would include an MBA, several years of financial analysis and management experience specific to the market and salaries would meet or exceed $250,000 per year plus annual bonus of at least as much.

Transportation and warehousing rose 11 points, demonstrating high demand for workers due to a booming importing trend in the United States (imports continue to exceed exports as consumer demand drives the need for cheaper products from over seas.)

In contrast, finance and insurance jobs fell seven points, decreasing for the third consecutive month and now down on a year-over-year basis for the first time on record Monster reported. The decline in January suggested that financial executives are continuing to hire in the first quarter of 2007, but at a slightly slower pace than during the fourth quarter of 2006.

Online demand for workers in mining also declined in January, falling five points.  Legal occupations were the only other professional job (well-paid career) category Monster reported had increased for the year.

Food preparation and serving jobs (minimum wage) rose 5 points during January. Other minimum wage jobs or those that pay less than $15 per hour grew for categories of arts, design, entertainment, and sports media positions (these positions were behind the scenes roles such as office boy and secretary.)

Mainstay jobs for the trade professional significantly fell in January including jobs in construction and extraction; production; and transportation and material moving. Continued weakness in manufacturing, particularly in the automotive industry, added to the trend of job loss for mid-tier salaried and union-protected jobs. Buildings and grounds cleaning and maintenance and installation, maintenance, and repair also noted a decline in postings.

Social services jobs grew 30 percent year over year, these jobs are mostly state, federal, and private not-for-profit positions with starting salaries in the mid-$20,000s and cover child and elder care and family services. Online job availability for highly-skilled life, physical, and social science occupations rose 16 percent for the year 2006, driven by heightened demand for college professors, as well as researchers and scientists all of which require advanced college education and an extensive science  research background.

As of press-time (3 February 2007) the Vault, an online professional services website, unveiled a video resume (CV) contest to boost chances for highly paid financial candidates to further their careers. Wall Street employees were encouraged to write, produce, and direct their online video and submit by 8 February. Vault editors plan to choose the five most impressive submissions and recommend those winners to its network of hiring professionals at top investment banks. Salaries of these positions begin in the $250,000 range with bonuses two to three times the annual salary .

Vault expects to run similar contests for applicants in other fields, such as consulting, accounting, law, fashion, and advertising.

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