Almost 1 in 3 Bank Tellers Need Public Assistance

And that's costing taxpayers almost $900 million a year

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2013 1:25 PM CST

(Newser) – You probably don't think of bank tellers the same way you think about, say, the fast food workers protesting today, but they, too, have ample reason to complain about their wages, a new report suggests. Nearly a third of tellers are on some form of public assistance, according to a UC Berkeley/Committee for Better Banks study. Taxpayers spend $899 million each year helping tellers get by, the report concludes.

Banks made more than $141.3 billion in profit last year, and had a median executive pay of around $552,000—compared to $24,100, or $11.59 per hour for tellers, the Washington Post reports. But Jay Jenkins at the Motley Fool points out that median pay for all workers isn't much better, at a mere $14.93 an hour. "The root of the problem is not about banks," he argues, "it's about the structure of the US economy and the quality of jobs available to the workforce."

A Bank of America branch in Gilbert, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Matt York)
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