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Just how much does a plumber make?

November 22, 2008

Wow – second post and already deviated from my main topics? I’m going to put this one under fact-checking. On the campaign trail, Obama asked “How many plumbers do you know making a quarter-million dollars a year“? see here, too: Obama and McCain use Joe the Plumber differently. Big-O wants to focus on how much money an individual plumber makes. McCain generally sets Joe in his stated desired spot as the owner of a small business.

So, how much DO plumbers make? An individual plumber does all right. Estimates range from $36,000 annually to $70,000.  Clearly individual plumbers don’t have anything to fear from a tax increase on folks making over $250k (or $200k, or $150k – but that’s another story).

But how much does a small business make? Well, let’s see what the ummm, SMALL BUSINESS ADMINSTRATION has to say about it. In 2002, there were 89,223 plumbing small businesses. Of those, 34,471 earned over $500,000. There next range increment is $100-499K. Let’s say that splits down the middle. If you add half of those in, you get 55,795 of the 89,223 small plumbing businesses making over $250,000 a year. That’s well over half of all plumbing small business enterprises.  Munch on the spreadsheet here: http://www2.census.gov/csd/susb/2002/usalli_r02.xls

So, how many plumbers do you know making a 1/4 million? Not so many. But how many plumbing businesses make that? Around half.

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