What Each State Googled More Than Others in 2015

Posted January 11th, 2016 at 11:18 am (UTC-4)
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(Photo by Flickr user Michele Ursino via Creative Commons license)

(Photo by Flickr user Michele Ursino via Creative Commons license)

From guns, politics and celebrity breakups, to wondering what the expression “bae” means, Americans spent a lot of time searching for information on the Internet in 2015.

The real estate blog, Estately, used data from Google Trends to determine what each U.S. state googled more than any other last year.

Some of the results aren’t surprising, given the people and issues that were in the news in 2015. Reality television personality Kim Kardashian ruled in California, while Oregon, Colorado and Idaho were concerned about Syria and Syrian refugees. Vermont worried about climate change while folks in Florida wanted to know more about permits to carry a concealed weapon.

People in Wisconsin were confused about certain pop culture terms and online social websites. They wondered what “bae” means. (The Urban Dictionary says it’s an acronym that stands for “before anyone else,” or a shortened version of baby or babe.) In 2014, Wisconsin was curious to find out more about Tinder (a location-based mobile dating app).

New Mexico seems to march to its own beat. Residents of the Land of Enchantment wanted to know more about Pluto in 2015. Last year, they were most interested in zombies.

Map-Google-Search-2015

Besides what you see on the map above, here are some other terms each state googled more than any other, according to Estately:

ALABAMA  Same-sex marriage

ALASKA  Barack Obama

ARIZONA  2nd Amendment

ARKANSAS Blood moon prophecy (apocalyptic beliefs about the end of the world)

CALIFORNIA  Kim Kardashian (reality TV personality)

COLORADO  Syrian civil war

CONNECTICUT  Speaker of the House

FLORIDA   Obamacare

GEORGIA  Blood Moon 2015

HAWAII   Nepal earthquake

IDAHO  Refugees

ILLINOIS  Super Blood Moon

INDIANA  Religious Freedom Restoration Act

IOWA  Elizabeth Banks (actress)

KANSAS   World Series

KENTUCKY  American Pharaoh (Triple Crown-winner)

LOUISIANA  Ashley Madison hack (online dating website marketed to people in committed relationships that was hacked)

MAINE  Amy Schumer (comedian)

MARYLAND  New Horizons (space mission)

MASSACHUSETTS  Charlie Hebdo (French satirical magazine attacked by terrorists in 2015)

MICHIGAN What is transgender?

MINNESOTA  Black Lives Matter (activist movement campaigning against violence toward black people)

MISSISSIPPI  Straight Outta Compton (2015 film)

MISSOURI  Amy Schumer photo

MONTANA  Wolves

NEBRASKA  Kaley Cuoco (actress)

NEVADA  Floyd Mayweather (pro boxer)

NEW HAMPSHIRE  Deflategate

NEW JERSEY  FIFA (governing body of international soccer tournaments that’s being investigated for bribery/corruption crimes in 2015)

NEW MEXICO  Pluto (the dwarf planet)

NEW YORK  Greece

NORTH CAROLINA   Concealed carry permit

NORTH DAKOTA  NFL Draft

OHIO  Marijuana legalization (a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana was not approved by voters in 2015)

OKLAHOMA  Je suis Charlie (solidarity message for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo)

OREGON  Syria

PENNSYLVANIA  Jon Snow dead (character from Game of Thrones TV show)

RHODE ISLAND  Brian Williams (NBC journalist suspended for telling an exaggerated story)

SOUTH CAROLINA  Charleston shooting

SOUTH DAKOTA  Back to the Future (popular 1985 movie that got a lot of attention because the characters in it travel to the future—the year 2015).

TENNESSEE  Fred Thompson (former actor and Tennessee senator who died in 2015)

TEXAS  James Harden (basketball player)

UTAH  Transgender

VERMONT  Bernie Sanders (presidential candidate)

VIRGINIA  Abdel Fattah el-Sis (President of Egypt)

WASHINGTON  Leonard Nimoy (actor who played Spock on Star Trek who died in 2015)

WEST VIRGINIA  Magic Mike XXL (2015 film)

WISCONSIN  Rep. Paul Ryan (newly elected Speaker of the House)

WYOMING  Mars (4th planet from the sun)

Stunning Photos Capture Native Americans in Early 1900s

Posted January 8th, 2016 at 2:39 pm (UTC-4)
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An Oasis in the Badlands, Great Plains, 1905 (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

An Oasis in the Badlands, Great Plains, 1905 (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Fortunately for future generations, Edward S. Curtis was a multi-media expert more than a century ago, well before anyone knew what that was, or thought to coin the phrase.

Self-Portrait of Edward S. Curtis, 1899 (Public Domain)

Self-Portrait of Edward S. Curtis, 1899 (Public Domain)

Using photographs, film, sound recordings and text, the Wisconsin native created a massive body of work documenting Native American culture in the early 20th century. The North American Indian project provides rare ethnographic information about more than 80 American Indian tribes from 1900 until 1930.

Curtis recorded tribal mythology and oral histories, documenting their way of life, encompassing everything from their food, clothing, dwellings, ceremonies and burial customs. However, it is perhaps the intense photographs, thousands of them, that are at the heart of the collection.

“The essence of the photographs is beauty, heart and spirit,” said Christopher Cardozo, one of the world’s leading experts on Curtis’ work and editor of nine books relating to the photographer, including Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks. “Fundamentally, the work is a healing narrative.”

Curtis captured the images of numerous prominent Native Americans, including Geronimo, Chief Joseph and Red Cloud. His mammoth project includes thousands of photographs and written information bound in 20 volumes complimented by 20 portfolios of additional photographs.

Curtis initially secured $75,000 in financing from prominent American banker J.P. Morgan — an estimated $1.5 million in today’s dollars — that allowed him to tell the story of what Curtis believed might be a vanishing race.

Nez Perce Babe, 1900, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Nez Perce Babe, 1900, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

At the time, Native Americans were being forced onto reservations while their children were taken away to boarding schools to better assimilate into American society. Many Native American parents saw these schools as a tool designed to destroy Indian culture.

Some critics have argued that Curtis’ body of work romanticizes Native Americans from a white man’s point of view. However, Cardozo believes the work has endured for 100 years because it was collaboration between Curtis and about 10,000 native people.

“If you look at all his photographs, you see this incredible vulnerability, intimacy, presence, connection and it’s so obvious when you look at these photographs that the native people were actively participating, actively collaborating, in creating these images,” he said. “This was the imagery they wanted preserved, as much as Curtis did.”

Now, Cardozo is interested in preserving Curtis’ work.

Just 214 complete sets of The North American Indian were initially published. In order to dramatically increase access to Curtis’ work, Cardozo is spearheading what is believed to be the largest republication in North American history; his team is reproducing high-quality recreations of Curtis’ entire North American Indian work, the thousands of photographs while completely re-typesetting all of his 2.5 million words.

He is continuing a quest started by Curtis himself 100 years ago, to document a central part of American history for future generations.

 

Canyon de Chelly, Navaho, 1904, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Canyon de Chelly, Navaho, 1904, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

 

Geronimo - Apache, 1905,  Southwest ((Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Geronimo – Apache, 1905, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Piegan Encampment, 1900, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Piegan Encampment, 1900, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Sioux Mother and Child, 1905, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Sioux Mother and Child, 1905, Great Plains (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

On the Housetop - Hopi, 1906, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

On the Housetop – Hopi, 1906, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Kwakiutl House Frame, 1914, Northwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Kwakiutl House Frame, 1914, Northwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Awaiting the Return of the Snake Racers, Hopi, 1921, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Awaiting the Return of the Snake Racers, Hopi, 1921, Southwest (Photo by Edward S. Curtis, courtesy Christopher Cardozo Fine Art/DelMonico Books • Prestel)

Americans Are Givers But Some States Are Downright Stingy

Posted January 6th, 2016 at 3:09 pm (UTC-4)
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Newport, Rhode Island (Photo by Flickr user Artur Staszewski via Creative Commons license)

Newport, Rhode Island (Photo by Flickr user Artur Staszewski via Creative Commons license)

In general, Americans are generous people. So much so that 95 percent of U.S. households donate to charity, contributing an average of $2,974 each year.

The United States comes in second (behind Myanmar) in the World Giving Index, with Americans giving more than $358 billion in 2014. Seventy-two percent of that amount came from individual donors.

“Giving has been part of our fiber since the beginning of our country,” Aggie Sweeney, vice chairperson of the Giving USA Foundation, told us back in June 2015. “Americans have always seen giving as an important part of what makes our communities work. In America, we’ve had a belief of taking care of our own and wanting to be able not to only have government take care of things, but to invest in what we feel is really important.”

(Photo by Flickr user  HM Revenue & Customs via Creative Commons license)

(Photo by Flickr user
HM Revenue & Customs via Creative Commons license)

But some states are more generous than others when it comes to donating time and/or money.

Residents in Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma are among the most giving Americans. Of all the U.S. states, residents in those states donate the highest percentage of their income.

States that give the lowest donated income include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine and New Jersey, with New Hampshire coming in dead last.

To determine the most generous states, financial website WalletHub assessed the volunteer rate, percentage of the population who donated time and money, and the median contribution to charity.

When assessing all of the above factors, Utah remains the most generous state, while the least charitable state is Rhode Island. Rhode Islanders apparently give the lowest percentage of their income while also donating the least amount of their time.

Click on individual state to see the most and least charitable

 

Dramatic Drop in Teen Workers Is Bad News for US Workforce

Posted January 4th, 2016 at 10:41 am (UTC-4)
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In 2000, teen labor force participation rate was 56 percent, compared to 39 percent in 2014. (Photo by Flickr user Lee Davenport via Creative Commons license)

In 2000, teen labor force participation rate was 56 percent, compared to 39 percent in 2014. (Photo by Flickr user Lee Davenport via Creative Commons license)

Over the past 15 years, the number of American teenagers working part-time jobs has decreased dramatically, which is bad news for the U.S. labor market.

In 2014, only 1 in 5 teens in school (22 percent) had a job, down 16 percentage points from 2000, when more than 1 in 3 teens in school (38 percent) worked.

“It’s not worrying for the same reason that you would worry about older people because usually teens don’t need to work to support themselves,” said Martha Ross of the Brookings Institution, who co-authored a paper on the subject. “So the concern is more about how this is going to affect them down the road in the labor market and their ability to make a transition from school to work?”

Copy of Copy of MR NS CPS Charts for COMMS - edited.xlsxIn 2000, the participation rate of the teen labor force — workers between the ages of 16 and 19 — was 56 percent, compared to just 39 percent in 2014.

Research shows reduced work experience for high school students, especially those who don’t go on to college immediately after graduation, is associated with lower employment rates and earnings in later years.

In 2014, the 10 largest employment sectors for workers between the ages of 16 and 19 were: eating and drinking establishments, grocery stores, entertainment and recreation services, construction, apparel and accessory stores (excluding shoes), colleges and universities, department stores, child day care services, landscape and horticultural services, and elementary and secondary schools.

Teens can learn a great deal from their first job, where the environment is very different from school where adults are there to focus on helping students learn. Not only are the stakes lower if they make a mistake, but teen workers learn key skills — responsibility, assessing situations, asking for help and receiving feedback — that can only be learned through direct experience.

“The structure of the workplace is very, very different,” Ross said. “For one thing, you have other adults that you can learn from in a different way than you can learn from teachers. And the workplace is not all about you, as a teenager, it is not about your learning. You are generally part of a team and you have to accomplish goals and complete tasks that benefit the business, or the nonprofit or the organization, in some way and that is a different mind set.”

Research shows a positive association between the number of hours a teen worked in the previous year and whether they were currently employed, which demonstrates that previous employment is associated with subsequent employment in teens. (Reuters)

Research shows a positive association between the number of hours a teen worked in the previous year and whether they were currently employed, which demonstrates that previous employment is associated with subsequent employment in teens. (Reuters)

Ross says it’s harder for young people to make the transition from college to a full-time job if they’ve never worked before.

Experts are conflicted about what’s causing the drop in teen employment. Many young people work less as the demands of school — higher level courses as well as extra-curricular sports and club activities — increase.

And, in a faltering economy, teens have the least experience and weakest networks when it comes to finding a job.

However, there is also a decreased labor force participation across all age groups, which suggests there is something going on in the labor force that’s changing the demand for workers.

And that change in demand appears to be hitting youngest workers the hardest.

 

Here’s What Americans Want Most in 2016

Posted December 31st, 2015 at 12:31 pm (UTC-4)
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(Photo by Flickr user Global Panorama via Creative Commons License)

(Photo by Flickr user Global Panorama via Creative Commons License)

Americans don’t just want to work out more in 2016, they also want to firm up their savings accounts.

A  Nerdwallet survey conducted in December found that “increasing savings” was the top priority for 49 percent of Americans, followed by “working out” (44 percent).

“There’s definitely a connection between the two in the sense that both are about quality of life,” said Nerdwallet’s Sreekar Jasthi. “Both are about health: physical health and fiscal health.”

New Year’s Day is a federal holiday in the United States, which means most Americans have the day off from work to attend gatherings, eat special foods meant to ensure good fortune for the new year, and make a list of resolutions for 2016.

On average, Americans carry $15,000 in credit card debt. (AP File Photo)

On average, Americans carry $15,000 in credit card debt. (AP File Photo)

“Increasing savings” was the most popular answer on Nerdwallet’s New Year’s resolution poll. The average American only saves about 5 percent of their income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The other top priorities include losing weight (44 percent), spending more time with friends and family (37 percent), traveling more (35 percent) and getting organized (30 percent).

Paying off credit cards was most important to 29 percent of those surveyed. On average, Americans have about $15,000 in credit card debt.

“We actually thought that the percentage of the population polled that would mention credit card debt as a priority, would be higher,” said Jasthi. “This is a significant concern…a lot of people eventually have to file for bankruptcy because they can’t afford to pay it back. I think more education and more clarity around how to effectually manage use of your credit cards, and how to repay debt on your credit card, is something that’s absolutely needed.”

While 45 percent of Americans say they usually make New Year’s resolutions, only about 8 percent of those who make resolutions actually fulfill them. Making resolutions as specific as possible might help. For example, instead of just saying ‘increase savings’, determine an exact amount you’d like to save in 2016 and then set monthly milestones to help reach that goal.

“Solid, specific goals that you can actually visualize instead of just large umbrella terms always help,” Jasthi said. “Be realistic when you’re setting these resolutions or setting these milestones. Be as specific as possible but obviously be realistic about how you’re going to attain those goals.”

Americans Check Their Phones 8 Billion Times a Day

Posted December 30th, 2015 at 8:27 am (UTC-4)
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A woman uses a mobile device to take a photograph  Dec. 17, 2015, in Glendale, California. (AP Photo)

A woman uses a mobile device to take a photograph Dec. 17, 2015, in Glendale, California. (AP Photo)

Americans are very attached to their electronic devices, especially their mobile phones.

So much so that nearly half of us — 48 percent — check our smartphones up to 25 times per day. Collectively, Americans look at their phones 8 billion times a day, according to Deloitte’s 5th Global Mobile Consumer Survey.

Some of us (17 percent) check our phones as soon as we wake up, while 43 percent look at their phone within five minutes.

Unsurprisingly, the heaviest mobile usage is among people between the ages of 18 and 24, who look at their phone 74 times a day. For 97 percent of those young people, phone usage starts within three hours of waking up in the morning.

The green bar represents 2014 while the blue bar represents 2015.

The green bar represents 2014 while the blue bar represents 2015.

But America’s mobile phone obsession isn’t just limited to the youngest generations. Among people of all ages, half report checking their phones one last time about 15 minutes before going to sleep at night.

Overall enthusiasm for electronic devices seems to be growing.

Smartphone ownership is up 9 percent while the number of people who own tablets increased 10 percent in 2015.

Seventy percent of Americans now own smartphones while more than half (51 percent) own tablets. Fourteen percent of people surveyed said they own wearable electronic devices.

Almost 1 in 10 Americans (9 percent) own all three devices.

Americans are also using their electronic devices while engaging in a number of other activities. They say they use their phone simultaneously at some point while out shopping (92 percent),  talking to family and friends (87 percent), watching TV (87 percent) and while dining out (81 percent).

mobile phoneUsing mobile devices to make in-store payments almost quadrupled, going from 5 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2015. However, more than one-third of Americans (36 percent) don’t see the point of using their mobile phones to make in-store payments.

While they aren’t excited about in-store payments, Americans do remain interested in the “next big thing”, such as self-driving “smart” cars.

They’re drawn by the possibility self-driving cars will eliminate the stress of driving, relieve the worry induced by getting directions and worrying about getting lost, and because smart cars would enable us to multitask while driving.

While Americans love their electronic devices, almost 1 in 3  worry about privacy issues. Thirty-one percent of people surveyed say they are concerned about their mobile activity being recorded or tracked.

This Southern State Just Hit 10-Million-People Mark

Posted December 28th, 2015 at 10:39 am (UTC-4)
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Charlotte, North Carolina (Photo by Flickr user James Willamor via Creative Commons license)

Charlotte, North Carolina (Photo by Flickr user James Willamor via Creative Commons license)

Every day last year, an average of 281 people moved to North Carolina, a positive migration pattern that helped the Tar Heel state’s population cross the 10-million mark.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports North Carolina is only the ninth state in the nation to have more than 10 million people living in it. The other states include California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Georgia.

The reasons people are moving to North Carolina vary. The state has large metro areas that offer plenty of job diversity, major universities and large research associations.

cb15-215_graphic“As a North Carolinian, I know we also talk about the quality of life. You have everything from the mountains to the coast,” said Rebecca Tippett, director of Carolina Demography at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center. Tippett, a transplant from Ohio, said milder weather was one of the factors that influenced her decision to relocate to North Carolina.

Elsewhere in the country, Florida added more people than California for the first time in a decade. Florida gained 365,703 people, which pushed its population past the 20 million mark. The sunshine state is only the third state to reach that milestone.

With 39.1 million people, California remains the most populous U.S. state, while Texas is second with 27.5 million people.

The fastest growing state, for the fourth year in a row, was North Dakota, with a population hike of 2.3 percent, followed by Colorado, the District of Columbia and Nevada.

With the exception of North Dakota, the 10 fastest-growing states were all located in the South or West, which tend to have a lower cost of living, lower property taxes, and milder weather.

“Depending on which state you look at, you’re going to get a slightly different profile of why people are moving,” Tippett said. “I’m not sure that we can say they all have something in common, other than the fact that they have good employment opportunities and they are appealing places to live relative to places people are comparing them to.”

Overall, the U.S. population  increased by 0.79 percent from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015, to 321.4 million.

However, seven states lost population including Illinois (22,194), West Virginia (4,623), Connecticut (3,876), Mississippi (1,110), Maine (928), Vermont (725) and New Mexico (458).

Vast Majority of US Non-Christians Celebrate Christmas

Posted December 23rd, 2015 at 8:06 am (UTC-4)
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Christmas tree vendors in New York City. (AP Photo)

Christmas tree vendors in New York City. (AP Photo)

Christmas is, by definition, a Christian holiday, but it turns out that a vast majority of non-Christians in the United States — 81 percent — also celebrate the Dec. 25 holiday, which commemorates the birth of Jesus.

Muslim American Zina Alathari, a Virginia dentist and mother of three girls, is one of them.

“We celebrate Christmas because it’s a joyous family holiday that brings our family and friends together,” Alathari said. “We are part of this culture and it’s important for my children to enjoy this with their friends.”

American Muslim Dr. Zina Alathari celebrating Christmas with her family.

American Muslim Dr. Zina Alathari celebrating Christmas with her family.

Alathari joins the 9 in 10 Americans — or 92 percent — who celebrate Christmas, according to the Pew Research Center.

The celebrants include 87 percent of all people with no religious affiliation and about three-fourths of Asian-American Buddhists and Hindus. About one-third of American Jews, many of whom are married to non-Jewish spouses, reported having a Christmas tree in a 2013 survey.

Bruce Ferder, a VOA cameraman who is Jewish, never celebrated Christmas as a child. After a Christian married into the family, though, the Ferders expanded their festivities to include Christmas and Hanukkah.

“We love to celebrate both holidays together. We gather around the tree on Christmas morning and open gifts and celebrate our time together as a family,” Ferder said. “We brought up our children to learn to expand their knowledge in all religions and respect everyone as we want to be respected ourselves.”

Seventy percent of Americans identify as Christians, while non-Christian faiths make up less than 6 percent of the overall U.S. population. These faiths include Judaism (1.9 percent), Islam (0.9 percent), Buddhism (0.7 percent) and Hinduism (0.7 percent). About 1 in 5 Americans does not identify with any religion.

Christians believe Jesus is the son of God. Jesus does not play any role in Judaism, and while Jews may accept that he is an historical figure, they do not believe in his divinity, nor that he was the prophesied messiah. In Islam, Jesus is an important figure. He’s regarded as a prophet, or messenger of God, who was born of a virgin mother. However, Muslims do not believe Jesus was the son of God.

FT_15.12.23_5factsXmas4Alathari, whose children have attended weekly Islamic religious classes, does not see any conflict between her Muslim faith and celebrating Christmas.

“We celebrate Eid [major Muslim holiday] and Christmas,” she said. “Both holidays are about peace and love and the kids love the gifts.”

About half of Americans see Christmas as more of a religious holiday, while about one-third view it more as a cultural holiday.

Either way, a majority of Americans say they believe the Christmas story reflects actual historical events.

Over the years, many Americans have taken to saying “Happy Holidays” in order to be sensitive to non-Christians.

However, the survey suggests wishing your friends and neighbors a very “Merry Christmas” might be well received by most Americans — no matter what their religion.

9 of 10 Largest US Occupations Pay Miserly Wages

Posted December 21st, 2015 at 9:55 am (UTC-4)
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Waitress Laura Haege carries a breakfast to be serve at the Waveland Cafe, June 19, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo)

Waitress Laura Haege carries a breakfast to be serve at the Waveland Cafe, June 19, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo)

Of the 10 largest occupations in the United States, only one — registered nurse — makes more than the national average when it comes to all U.S. jobs.

Nurses make $69,790 annually while the average U.S. worker makes $47,230, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau’s Occupational Employment Statistics program provides employment and wage estimates for more than 800 occupations nationwide.

More Americans worked as retail salespersons or cashiers in May 2014 than in any other job, accounting for about 6 percent of total U.S. employment.

Cashiers at work at Walmart. About 3.4 million Americans work as cashiers. (AP Photo)

Cashiers at work at Walmart. About 3.4 million Americans work as cashiers. (AP Photo)

The 10 largest occupations include retail salespersons and cashiers, food preparation and serving workers, general office clerks, registered nurses, customer service representatives, and waiters and waitresses. That combined group of workers accounted for 21 percent of total U.S. employment in May 2014.

The annual average wages for those largest occupations — excluding nurses — ranged from $19,110 for combined food preparation and serving workers, to $34,500 for secretaries and administrative assistants. Food preparation and serving workers also had one of the lowest paying occupations overall, as did fast food cooks ($19,030), shampooers ($19,480), and dishwashers ($19,540).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the highest paying jobs include certain physicians and dentists, chief executives, nurse anesthetists and petroleum engineers.

So-called STEM jobs — occupations requiring science, technology, engineering, or math-related degrees — accounted for about 6.2 percent of all U.S. jobs. There are 100 different occupations that account for the STEM jobs. Seven of the 10 largest STEM occupations were related to computers.

Ninety-three of the 100 STEM occupations had mean wages that were significantly above the U.S. jobs average. The highest paying STEM occupations included petroleum engineers ($147,520) and physicists ($117,300). The lowest paying STEM jobs included agricultural and food science technicians ($37,330) and forest and conservation technicians ($37,990).

Overall, the most lucrative U.S. jobs included management, legal, and computer and mathematical occupations.

The lowest paying included food preparation and serving, personal care and service, and farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. Each had an annual mean wage of about $25,000 or less.

Americans View Each Other As Patriotic, Honest, Selfish and Lazy

Posted December 18th, 2015 at 10:49 am (UTC-4)
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Americans take a group selfie before a volleyball match between the United State and Italy, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo)

Americans take a group selfie before a women’s volleyball match between the United State and Italy in Omaha, Nebraska, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo)

How do Americans view themselves? As patriotic, honest, selfish and lazy, according to a recent Pew Research survey.

FT_15.12.11_typicalAmerican_patrioticMost (79 percent) say the term “patriotic” fits the average American very well or fairly well. The majority also think the typical American is “honest” (69 percent) and “intelligent” (67 percent).

But Americans can also be self-critical. More than two-thirds (68 percent) believe the term “selfish” also applies to the typical American. Half of the American public says their fellow countrymen and women can aptly be described as “lazy.”

However, while 50 percent of respondents viewed Americans as lazy, very few referred to themselves as lazy.

On average, younger people are more negative when assessing their fellow Americans. More millennials — people ranging in age from 18 to 33 — are likely to see Americans as lazy.

The public’s skepticism extends to political issues. Sixty-three percent say they have “not very much” confidence or “no confidence at all” in the political wisdom of the American people. That’s a big difference from 2007, when 57 percent had a good deal of trust and confidence in the American people’s political wisdom.