General laborers perform unskilled duties in a wide variety of industries, including in wholesale and retail lumber yards. Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees a slight decline in the number of jobs for general laborers, many opportunities will occur due to turnover, partly due to low wages. Salaries for unskilled workers in lumber yards are generally similar to the average for those across all industries, which was $12.36 per hour in 2010.
Average Salary in Wholesale
About 19,890 of the nation's approximately 2 million general laborers work for merchant wholesalers of lumber and other construction materials, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their average salary was nearly identical to the average for those in all industries combined, at $12.78 per hour, equaling $26,580 per year. The median wage, or the number at which half the wholesale lumber yard workers earned more and half earned less, was a bit lower, at $12.22 per hour.
Salary Range in Wholesale
The middle 50 percent of wholesale lumber yard workers had pay rates of $9.98 to $18.03 per hour in 2010, or $20,760 to $31,180 per year. The bottom 10 percent of the salary range was at or below $8.52 per hour, or $17,720 per year. The top 10 percent of these workers were making more than twice that, at $18.03 per hour and higher, or $37,500 per year and more.
Average Salary in Retail
An estimated 52,950 general laborers work for retail building material and supplies dealers. These businesses employ more unskilled workers, but the average salary was about 9 percent lower than in wholesale lumber yards, at $11.62 per hour, or $24,170 per year. The median pay rate was $11.06 per hour.
Salary Range in Retail
The bottom 10th percentile of the salary range for general laborers with retail building materials dealers was similar to that in wholesale, at $8.21 per hour, or $17,080 per year. The upper ranges were lower, however, with those in the 25th to 75th percentile making $9.42 to $13.50 per hour, or $19,580 to $28,080 per year. The top 10 percent of these workers had salaries of $15.79 per hour and higher, or $32,850 per year and more.