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The Agony and Ecstasy of the U.S. Workplace

September 02, 1996

Work ain't what it used to be. These days we're more likely to work at home, work part time or work temporarily. But one thing's clear, America still works hard.

So as we celebrate our labors by sweating over barbecues on this national holiday, here's a statistical reflection of work in America.

The Most Stressful Jobs in America, Top Five:

* U.S. president

* Firefighter

* Senior corporate executive

* Indy race-car driver

* Taxi driver

Source: Jobs Rated Almanac

Minimum Daily Rates for TV and Film Extras:

* Choreographed dancer, $245

* Photo double, $109

* General extra, $99

* Wet, snow, smoke work, add $14

* Riding a bicycle, add $12

Source: Screen Actors Guild

Largest Employers, Top Five:

* General Motors

* Kelly Services

* Wal-Mart

* PepsiCo

* Kmart

Source: Dun's Business Rankings

Industries With the Most Job Insecurity:

* Banking

* Media/Entertainment

* Retailing

* Telecommunications

* Utilities

Source: Forbes magazine

U.S. Government Salaries, a Sampling:

* President, $200,000

* Speaker of the House, $171,500

* Senate majority leader, $148,400

* Senators and representatives, $133,600

* Vice president, $94,000

Source: The Almanac of Jobs and Salaries

Companies With the Best Employee Benefits, Top Five:

* IBM

* Eastman Kodak

* Hewlett-Packard

* Quaker Oats

* Aetna

Source: Money magazine

The 10 Best Employers, based on Such Things as Salary, Benefits, Working Conditions,

(in alphabetical order):

* Beth Israel Hospital, Boston

* Delta Airlines

* Donnelly glass products

* Federal Express

* Fel-Pro auto gaskets

* Hallmark Cards

* Publix supermarkets

* Rosenbluth International travel agency

* Southwest Airlines

* USAA insurance

Source: The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America

People Least Satisfied With Their Jobs, by Race and Ethnicity,

Top Five:

* African Americans

* Whites

* Native Americans

* Asians

* Latinos

Source: Watson Wyatt Worldwide

Largest Job Markets, Top Five:

* 1. Los Angeles-Long Beach

* 2. New York

* 3. Chicago

* 4. Philadelphia

* 5. Washington, D.C.

Source: www.careermosaic.com

Markets With Greatest Job Growth,

Top Five:

* Chicago

* Washington, D.C.

* Los Angeles-Long Beach

* Orange County

* Orlando, Fla.

Source: Woods & Poole Economics Inc.

Markets with Highest-Paying Jobs,

Top Five:

* Bergen-Passaic, N.J.

* New York

* San Francisco

* Trenton, N.J.

* New Haven-Bridgeport, Conn.

Source: Woods & Poole Economics Inc.

What College Freshmen Want to Be When They Grow Up (Chosen From a List of Selected Fields):

* Management executive

* Engineer

* Physician

* Engineer

* Teacher

Source: UCLA

America's Smartest Cities (where college degrees are highest),

Top Five:

* Stanford, Calif.

* Chevy Chase, Md.

* Winnetka, Ill.

* Scarsdale, N.Y.

* Portola Valley, Calif.

Source: American Demographics

--Compiled by D. James Romero

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