Working Americans got some good news about inflation for the first time in months. According to the CPI, inflation fell by 0.1% in December compared to the previous month. It was the largest drop in any month since April 2020. Inflation year over year remains high, rising 6.5% in December. Still, this was a sharp slowdown from the pace of over 8% posted just months ago. In other words, Americans still face rapidly rising costs without a commensurate increase in pay. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries in the private sector rose by 5.2% annually in the third quarter.
There are several major exceptions, however, to the problem of eroding real wages. The pay for florists, for example, rose by over 25% year over year as of August 2022, the highest increase among private sector jobs. (Also see, the 18 worst paying jobs for women.)
While the news is relatively good for florists, they still have a challenge. Even with the increase, their hourly pay is only $19.94. Across the retail trade sector, average earnings are $22.97, a 4.2% year-over-year increase. Several other jobs in which people also had sharp increases in compensation made much more. For example, the pay of real estate finance workers rose only 14%, but the jump took their hourly compensation to $46.45, which is more than double what a florist makes.
Florist pay rates share something in common with other low-paying jobs. The entry level education is high school level, according to the BLS. Many who work in the occupation, therefore, do not qualify for the higher-paying jobs that typically require college degrees or higher. (These are 22 jobs with the fastest changing skill requirements.)
While pay among florists has surged recently, fewer people will be able to take advantage of this in the future, if it continues. The BLS projects that the number of florists in the U.S. will drop by 21% between 2021 and 2031.
See 24/7 Wall St.’s list of 36 jobs with wages rising faster than inflation.
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