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These are the most common jobs in Ohio that pay a living wage

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Few of the 10 most common jobs in Ohio pay a living wage. Four have wages so low that workers can qualify for food stamps.

According to a recent report, most of the most common jobs in Ohio pay the typical worker less than a living wage, and some pay so little that workers may qualify for assistance such as food stamps.

Typical, or median, workers in four of the 10 most common jobs in Ohio earn less than $15 an hour. This was often enough for their families to qualify for programs like food stamps, according to the report by Policy Matters Ohio, the liberal nonprofit policy research institute. The proportion has increased from 3 in 10 the previous year. The report analyzed data from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2023.

Eight of the 10 jobs on the list pay less than $19.40 an hour

The hourly living wage in Ohio for a single adult without children is $19.40, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator. A living wage is defined as what a person must earn working full-time to meet the basic needs of his or her family, such as housing, food, and child care. (These are the most common jobs in Greater Cleveland that pay a living wagewhich shows (How what’s happening here in Cleveland is similar to what’s happening across the state.)

The four lowest-paying jobs in Ohio’s top 10 included fast food and counter workers, which ranked second out of 10. Cashiers came in fifth and retail salespeople came in sixth. Personal care and home health aides rounded out the top 10.

Two of the five most common jobs in Ohio were those for which workers were likely to qualify for assistance. The good news is that the two highest-paying occupations on the list made the top five. The general and operations manager classification, which is the most common job in Ohio, had a median hourly wage of $45.14. Registered nurses, who ranked fourth, had a median hourly wage of $38.44.

Groups Trying to Get a $15 Minimum Wage Amendment on the November Ballot

The four occupations on the list that pay less than $15 employ 476,000 Ohioans, or 8.7% of all workers in the state, said economist Michael Shields, the report’s author. He said the typical worker in all four occupations had an annual income less than 130% of the poverty rate. This is equivalent to $32,318 for a family of three, the threshold to qualify for programs like food assistance.

“These workers are paid such low wages that it is difficult for them to support their families,” he said. “We need a political solution.”

Shields said raising the minimum wage, which is currently $10.45, is an important way to improve the economic lives of these low-wage workers. A $15 minimum wage measure is likely to be on the November ballot. A bill recently introduced in the state legislature seeks to increase the minimum wage to $15.

See: $15 minimum wage: Differences between competing Ohio proposals

The report also looked at how well Ohio and its metropolitan areas have fared in recovering jobs lost during the pandemic.

Employment rose 0.4% in Ohio between February 2020 and February 2023. In Greater Cleveland, it fell 1.4%.

Only three of Ohio’s 11 metropolitan areas have regained at least the jobs they had before the pandemic. They are Columbus, Springfield and Cincinnati.