The annual issue of Parade's Magazine "What People Earn". came in my Sunday Boston Globe last weekend, and as usual it did not disappoint. Not only do I get some good insight into various jobs and what they pay in the US, but it's also a great source of overall labor statistics.
Yes, the economy in the US did improve, creating 2.2 million jobs in 2004, but it was still too few to replace the 2.4 million lost from 2001 through 2003. Productivity improved, corporate profits rose, interest rates remained low, and we had relatively low inflation. Looking to the future, job growth will continue to be erratic, with a projection of 2.1 million jobs in 2005, and employers will likely continue to look to temporary or contract workers in the near term.
Where is strong hiring expected? Financial services, energy construction and health care. They also single out information technology security as having more vacancies than job seekers, and this market is expected to grow by 14% a year to more than 2.8 million jobs in 2008.
So what did people earn? Once again, I am amazed at some of the salaries. For example, several teachers are pictured with salaries of less than $25,000 per year, yet a teacher in Stockton California, which is not an expensive area, receives an $88,000 salary -- a wide disparity. The only IT worker, called an "Info Systems Analyst," in New Jersey receives an income of $55,000. A couple of jobs related to the huge growth in real estate prices, mortgage broker and real estate broker, are listed at $280,000 and $600,000, respectively. Wow!
And if you're trying to steer your kids toward majors that will help them earn a buck on graduation, stay away from psychology, which has a starting salary of $28K, or English, at $32K. Steer them toward computer engineering ($52K) or economics ($40K) or maybe no college at all -- go right to real estate.
- Barbara Bowen, WW Certification Program Manager, Lotus Software