Amid surging inflation, the vast majority of Americans have less buying power now than they did a year ago. Though private sector wages increased by 5.2% over the past year, those gains have been wiped out by the rising cost of living, as the consumer price index climbed by 8.2% over the same period.
While most private sector workers have seen a decline in real earnings amid historic inflation, even if their wages increased somewhat, in some occupations wages have actually declined, compounding the effect of the increased cost of living. There are dozens of occupations in which the average hourly wage today is lower than it was a year ago.
Using data from the BLS’s Current Employment Statistics survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the jobs where pay is falling the fastest. In each of the 30 jobs on this list, average hourly earnings declined by over 3% from August 2021 to August 2022.
The largest share of occupations on this list – eight out of 30 – are in durable goods manufacturing, as pay for workers making motor vehicles and medical equipment has been falling rapidly. An additional four occupations on this list are in nondurable goods manufacturing, specifically jobs making soaps, chemicals, and petroleum products. (Here is a look at the industries where people got the biggest raises during the pandemic.)
With declining hourly pay, at a time when nominal wages are on the rise in most of the private sector, many of these jobs pay less than average. Average hourly wages in 16 of the 30 occupations on this list were below the average of $32.16 an hour across all private sector occupations in August 2022. (Here is a look at the highest paying jobs you can have in America.)
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