Hand Laborers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Some of these workers feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

In warehouses and in wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, loading material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

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Hand Laborers manually move freight, stock, or other materials. Some of these workers feed or remove material to or from machines, clean vehicles, pick up unwanted household goods, and pack materials for moving.

In warehouses and in wholesale and retail operations, hand laborers and material movers work closely with material moving machine operators and material recording clerks. Some workers are employed in manufacturing industries, loading material onto conveyor belts or other machines.

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Job Prospects


Job prospects for hand laborers and material movers are expected to be good. The need to replace workers who leave these occupations should create a large number of job openings.

Employment projections data for hand laborers and material movers, 2016-26


Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric
Hand Laborers and Material Movers -- 3,932,000 4,203,600 7 271,700 --

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Employment projections data for hand laborers and material movers, 2016-26


Occupational Title
Hand Laborers and Material Movers
SOC Code
--
Employment, 2016
3,932,000
Projected Employment, 2026
4,203,600
CHANGE, 2016-26
PERCENT
7
NUMERIC
271,700
EMPLOYMENT BY INDUSTRY
--

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Pay


The median annual wage for hand laborers and material movers was $25,870 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,200, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $42,890.

Median annual wages for hand laborers and material movers in May 2017 were as follows:


Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors $36,160
Machine Feeders and Offbearers $28,510
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand $27,040
Packers and Packagers, Hand $23,430
Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment $23,360

Some hand laborers and material movers, such as grocery baggers or carwash attendants, may receive tips.
Most workers in these occupations work full time. About 1 in 4 hand laborers; freight, stock and material movers worked part time in 2016.
Shifts longer than 8 hours are common, and sometimes overtime is available. Because materials are shipped around the clock, some workers, especially those in warehousing, work overnight shifts.

Hand Laborers and Material Movers


Median annual wages, May 2017


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

Job Outlook


Overall employment of hand laborers and material movers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Projected employment changes will vary by occupation.

Employment of hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers - about 2/3 of all the workers in this profile - is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Although some warehouses are installing equipment such as high-speed conveyors and sorting systems to increase efficiency, these workers will still be needed to move materials in nearly all sectors of the economy.

Employment of refuse and recyclable material collectors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Trash collection activity should be expected to increase as the population grows, and collectors will be needed to remove trash.

Employment of cleaners of vehicles and equipment is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for automotive repair and maintenance services, as well as a growing automobile dealers industry, is expected to contribute to employment growth of cleaners of vehicles and equipment.

Employment of machine feeders and offbearers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Many of these workers are employed in manufacturing industries, in which some functions are automated, so fewer of these workers will be required.

Hand Laborers and Material Movers


Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26


Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

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Professional Recruiter and Staffing Organizations


  • National Association of Personnel Services
  • Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals
  • American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment
  • National Association of Executive Recruiters
  • National Association for Health Care Recruitment
  • Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association
  • American Staffing Association
  • Top Echelon Recruiting Network

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