Pretty interesting interactive chart — very, very reminiscent of Catherine Mulbrandon’s presentation at the Big Picture conference.


Click for interactive chart:

Source: The Top 1 Percent: What Jobs Do They Have?
NYT, January 15, 2012

Category: Digital Media, Employment

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

15 Responses to “Top 1% Employment”

  1. Bruman says:

    I was surprised to see elementary school teachers (and waiters) in the 1%. I don’t know of any elementary school or high school teaching jobs that will get you to $320k or thereabouts. My guess is that this is about “households” (that part is true), and that these are spouses of someone else who is there.

    So if one uses this chart to show how lots of careers can get you to the 1%, that would be a very misleading way to use this chart.

  2. tom says:

    I question whether this chart tells us anything at all.

    The fact that they include your profession if you are in a household in the 1% means that you can include every single profession under the sun. I suspect that if “housewife/husband” was considered a profession, it would dominate all categories.

  3. dimm says:

    Yes, completely useless and it seems inaccurate.
    It includes spouses, but no supermodels ;) and no unemployed?

    To be meaningful spouses and inherited wealth should be excluded.

  4. rd says:

    Bruman – I think you are reading the chart incorrectly. The colors of the blocks show the percentage of that group that are in the 1%. The color of the grade school teacher group shows that less than 1% of them are in the 1% which is what you would expect.

    However, the chocolate brown color of the physicans and health services boxes shows one of the main reasons why US health care is so expensive…… My guess is that our physicians make significantly more than physicians elsewhere in the world. Health care cost cutting will undoubtedly need to modify the color of the boxes or at least the average income of them.

  5. dimm says:

    here is the Note from the link:
    The chart counts the number of individual workers LIVING in households with an overall income in the top 1 percent nationwide.

    They seem to use income and wealth interchangeably which obviously is improper.

  6. whskyjack says:

    Of course it doesn’t show how many of those are one time entries into the 1%.
    A good example, when my mother got sick and had to go to a nursing home we sold a large chunk of the farm and for that year she was close to being in the 1%. For the previous 20 years she lived on less than 10,000 a year.


  7. NoKidding says:

    US Senator?

  8. S Brennan says:

    If it was by income it would say something more meaningful, but it is “living in households” which obscures useful data.

    However, it clearly indicates that when corporate heads go before congress and say there is a shortage of engineers in this country and we need to increase the number H1-B’s, L-1 and numerous alphanumeric codes used for professional wage suppression…we can ask:

    “hey…if there’s a shortage of engineers how come so few are getting into the 1%…what about shortage leading to higher prices?”

    Of course that’s why lawyers fare so well on the chart above, they know laws are for little people.

  9. jd351 says:

    dimm Says:

    “They seem to use income and wealth interchangeably which obviously is improper.”

    This is an excellent point, which make the rest non starters

  10. whskyjack says:

    S Brennan

    If they are using “house hold” then that probably means they are using census data

  11. S Brennan says:


    What I mean is, if a school teacher marries Warren Buffet, suddenly a school teacher has an income that put’s her in the 1%…which gives everybody a false impression that some school board is nuts.

  12. Jack says:

    Where is the “Elected and/or appointed Public Official” category?

  13. AtlasRocked says:

    Look at the Concentration in the medical industry. Who pays most of their bills? What % of revenue do they get from the federal government? What spending area of federal government has grown the most % in the last 40 years? (Medicare has risen 9% per year for 45 years!) What major category has shrunk the most as a % ? (Defense, from 45% down to 20% of federal spending if you count ALL federal spending)

    Now connect the dots – Do the liberal policy advocates promote more medical spending from gov’t? What political group is contributing the most to the growth of federal debt, and to the growth of the 1% ? Why do liberal program advocates want to grow the area with the worst spending growth and shrink the category with a fantastic historical pattern of reduced spending %?

  14. wally says:

    It’s obvious why health care is so expensive in the US. However, attempting to connect that to ‘liberal’ government is laughably misguided.

  15. BillG says:

    @rd “My guess is that our physicians make significantly more than physicians elsewhere in the world.”

    Definitely. That’s been well documented. Part of it is due to them having to make back what they spent on schooling here (which is more expensive than elsewhere in the world) but its no secret the AMA and the medical schools keep admission to their profession difficult in order to keep salaries high. Thousands of qualified applicants get denied every year.

    You’re completely right about the visas and the wage suppression of certain professions (mainly engineering and programming) in this country. Its a complete joke that is killing my profession. If we’re going to have the free movement of labor in this world then lets have it. Let doctors from Thailand, India, and Cuba open practices over here at will. Let me hire some thirdworlders to clean my house. Let a Canadian pharmacy open a branch down the street from my house. If congress wants to screw the engineers by subjecting them to unrestricted global competition then they should at least let us have some of the benefits of this competition in the form of lower prices for the services we buy here at home.

    @Atlas “Why do liberal program advocates want to grow the area with the worst spending growth and shrink the category with a fantastic historical pattern of reduced spending %?”

    Not only that but at least with defense you can make the point that though we spend the most on it of anyone in the world, what we get in return is without a doubt the best military in the world. We also spend more than everybody else on healthcare but our healthcare system is certainly not the best in the world.