Youngstown’s Most Common Jobs Pay Below Food Assistance Levels

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Half of the Youngstown area’s 10 most common jobs – including three of the top five – don’t pay enough to feed a family of three without food assistance programs, according to a report from Policy Matters Ohio.

The report, which details data from the U.S. Department of Labor, found that the median annual salary for retail salespeople, cashiers, food preparation workers, restaurant wait staff and janitors fell below the 130% of poverty threshold – around $26,000 – typically used to qualify people for food assistance programs. Those five jobs ranked Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 10, respectively, in terms of employment in the area.

“Throughout Ohio, not only are many of the most common jobs paying extremely low wages, many do less to lift working people out of poverty than they did in 2000,” said researcher Hannah Halbert in a release. “Examining statewide numbers, Ohio may look better off than it really is.”

Policy Matters Ohio released reports on 11 metropolitan areas: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Mansfield, Springfield, Toledo and Youngstown. It also released a fact sheet detailing statewide employment figures.

In the Youngstown area, food prep workers, cashiers and waiters’ median salaries all fell below the poverty line of $20,420, as the jobs earned a median of $18,920, $19,240 and $19,160, respectively. Also coming in below the assistance threshold were retail sales ($21,000) and janitors ($25,770).

Among the other most common jobs in the Youngstown area, registered nurses posted the highest median salary at $57,420, followed by truck drivers at $44,140.

The most common job in the area is retail sales, which employs 8,990, followed by food prep (7,660), cashier (6,460) and “laborers and freight, stock and material movers” (4,830).

Over the past decade, the Youngstown area has lost more jobs than any other Ohio metro area. Last year, there were an average of 220,000 jobs, down 19,100 from 2007. The largest losses was in manufacturing, where 9,000 jobs were lost, and trade, transportation and utilities, which lost 5,800.

The full report on Youngstown from Policy Matters Ohio is available here.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.