People who work in retail have been known to complain about their jobs, and with reason, according to a new study.
In a U.S. News & World Report survey that ranked the “100 Best Jobs,” the expanded list that ranks 190 positions reveals the front line of customer service roles falls at the bottom.
Waitering, telemarketing, retail, housekeeping, cashier and bartender jobs are six of the lowest-paying jobs, with most of titles not requiring a degree or special training.
Waiters and bartenders both have a median salary of about $26,000. However, because they rely on tips, their salary varies on hospitality factors and location.
Although the median salary of a telemarketer is about $28,000, the job can be done remotely at home and sometimes there are flexible hours.
Housekeepers or maids have a median salary that is close to $29,000, but some of whom live in with their clients, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.
According to the U.S. News list, retail salespeople, and cashiers, such as those who work at convenience and grocery stores, are ranked among the lowest jobs in the analysis.
Blacks in Retail
A McKinsey & Company 2021 report entitled “Race in the workplace: The Black experience in the US private sector” found that 45 percent of Black private-sector workers (or about 6.7 million people) work in three industries with a large frontline-service presence: healthcare, retail, and accommodation and food service. In retail, 73 percent of Black workers are in this group; in accommodations and food service, the share is 84 percent.
According to a U.S. News & World Report ranking of Best Sales and Marketing Jobs, retail sales associates received a score of 3.1 out of 10. The job did have some perks, according to the ranking. It scored high for low-stress level, good work-life balance and solid prospects to improve, get promoted and earn a higher salary. Despite the pluses of upward mobility and schedule flexibility, retail sales associates don’t make much. The median salary was $29,120 in 2021. The top 25 percent of retail sales associates earned $35,110 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent earned $23,500.
According to U.S. News, in 2021, cashiers made a median salary of $27,260. The best-paid cashiers, the top 25 percent, made $29,540 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $22,670.
Retail Jobs on the Decline
In addition to being low in pay, both retail sales associate and cashier jobs are expected to experience a decline in available openings. U.S. News reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects -0.2 percent employment growth for retail salespersons between 2021 and 2031. An estimated 7,800 jobs will be lost. The BLS projects there will be a loss of more than 330,000 cashier jobs within the same time frame.