Jobs | Who’s Whistling While They Work?

Dorothy Gambrell and Alex McIntyre

ILLUSTRATION BY 731

U.S. government data show which workers have enjoyed more pay for less work — and the exhausting opposite. Cutthroat competition and weak unions have led manufacturers and airlines to cut labor costs to the bone. In mining, it’s a different story.

Most rewarding

Change In productivity, 2001-2011 | In pay, 2001-2011

Support activities for mining +24% | +181%

Oil and gas extraction –15% | +119%

Wholesale electronics sales –17% | +104%

Most thankless

Change In productivity, 2001-2011 | In pay, 2001-2011

Electronics and appliance retail +227% | +4%

Mail order and non-store retail +137% | +34%

Electronics manufacturing +82% | -17%

DATA: BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

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