A Hamilton an Hour

When government officials unveiled the colorful new $10 bill yesterday, they probably weren't thinking of the millions of Americans who earn $10 an hour or less.

A fifth of U.S. workers -- 28.6 million -- make a 10-spot an hour or less, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Without overtime or time off, $10 an hour comes to $400 a week, or $20,800 a year.

Those people work in many fields, according to the bureau. Most of the jobs are in offices, hospitality, leisure and the service sector -- health care, food service, cleaning and maintenance.

Those paid $10 an hour also include at least 750,000 librarians and educators and a similar number of entertainers, designers and media types. They also include nearly 350,000 managers, 100,000 architects and engineers, and about as many legal professionals, although probably not many law firm partners.

Whatever their occupation, they almost certainly would prefer to be paid at hourly rates closer to the next bill scheduled for redesign: the $100. The government has no plans yet to redesign the bills for America's 2 million minimum-wage workers: the $5 and $1.

-- Vickie Elmer