Why Your Pointy Haired Boss Is A Mathematical Certainty
We've all had one. That annoying boss who just doesn't have a clue. A useless middle manager that can't lead, can't manage yet somehow manages to keep his job. Well, know you'll know why he exists.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces some interesting documents about things like the percentage of the population that can work, the percentage of that population that is employed and so on.
Well, one document they produce is the Occupational Employment and Wages report. Basically it says how many people have what job and what they get paid.
So I gathered the data from this chart and created this graph that shows how many people get paid what. Each dot represents a type of job.
It's pretty easy to tell from looking at it that lots of people have jobs that don't pay a lot of money, and a few people have jobs that pay a lot of money. Nothing really unexpected here, I guess.
But what is that dot... that single, attractive dot that employs nearly 2 million people and pays nearly $90,000? Surely, if there was a job worth having, it would be that one. Lots of people do it, so it must not require a lot of skill, yet it pays better than the vast majority of other jobs out there.
What is that job? That sweet, sweet job that employs roughly 1,892,060 people and pays $88,700 annually (on average). Why it's General and operations managers, of course.
And now you know why your pointy haired boss is an almost mathematical certainty. It's an attractive, well-paying job, that doesn't seem to be too discriminating about who gets hired.
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The U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics
page first created on Wednesday, January 26, 2005
© Mark Wieczorek