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Most Common Jobs Of The One Percenters: Report

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 10/18/2011 2:42 pm EDT   Updated: 12/18/2011 4:12 am EST

The goals and grievances of Occupy Wall Street protestors may be varied, but one of the movement's main aims is to draw attention to the gap between the wealth of the top 1 percent of American earners and the incomes of the other 99 percent of Americans.

But who exactly are the so-called 1 percent and what do they do? There's been no shortage of images and words from 99 percenters, whether camped out in Zuccotti park or posting on Tumblr. And now, an academic report from November 2010 is receiving media attention for highlighting how the 1 percent makes a living.

Yet the report may not paint a perfectly accurate picture of the current 1 percent; it uses the latest data available which is from 2005, before the financial crisis.

Still, if the findings remain comparable today, the commonly held perception that most members of the 1 percent work on Wall Street may be misguided. Indeed, the report by Jon Bakija of Williams College, Adam Cole of the Treasury Department and Bradley T. Heim of Indiana University, finds that it is those who are part of the C-Suite -- as in CEO, CFO, COO and others -- and don't work in finance that are the most common members of the elite club.

Analyzing tax data from 1979 to 2005, the report finds that those in management and executive positions make up the majority of the top 1 percent of income earners. Finance executives in particular have increased their share of the 1 percent, accounting for 13.9 percent of top earners in 2005, compared to 7.7 percent in 1979.

Medical professionals, lawyers and people that aren't working or trying to look for work also make up big portions of the 1 percent.

The report also shows that inequality has gotten worse in recent years. In 2005, the last year of data the researchers analyzed, the top 1 percent took home 16.97 percent of total income distributed to all American households. In 2008 that number jumped to 21 percent, The New York Times reports.

In terms of actual cash, the Washington Post reports that last year the top 1 percent had a minimum income of $516,633. By contrast the bottom 20 percent earned a maximum of only $16,961.

Here are the 10 most popular occupations held by the top 1 percent, according to the report:

10. Business Operations (Nonfinance)
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Percentage of top 1 percent with occupation in 2005: 3 percent
Percentage of top 1 percent with occupation in 1979: 2.4 percent
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