when your teenager must work to help pay the mortgage. $8/hour, 40 hour week grosses $16,640/year. http://heraldnet.com/article/20100527/BIZ/705279865/1005#Job.trends.point.to.paltry.paychecks "The U.S. government counts 2.7 million people working in the fast-food business these days, a 43 percent increase from a decade ago, and hundreds of thousands of jobs have materialized for those working with small children or helping sick people stay in their homes. All those jobs have average wages ranging from $18,000 to $20,000. "The first decade of the 21st century wasn’t so great, however, for the workers who do things like assemble engines, drill machines or operate shoe-making machines — and earn an annual mean wage just above $30,000. More than half the jobs in some manufacturing occupations were lost. . . . "A look back 100 years shows a country changing from an agricultural economy to a manufacturing economy as productivity increased in agriculture and fewer workers were needed, which allowed more people to move to factories. "Now productivity gains due to automation and the off-shoring of production to countries where wages are lower are changing the U.S. to a service economy. . . . "Other changes show the shift from one-income households to two-income households. Childcare employment has increased over the decade by 58 percent to almost 600,000 jobs that pay a median wage of $21,000 a year. . . . "Over the last decade, the nation has lost more than half of the jobs for people who work forging machines, drilling and boring machines and who assemble engines and other machines — jobs that earn a bit more than $30,000 a year. . . . "For all the talk of the growing number of health care jobs, a comparison look at 10 years of data shows the greatest growth has been in the lower paid positions in that industry, such as home health aid and medical assistants who make $21,620 and $29,450 a year respectively."