Who are the 47 percent? 5 jobs held by people who pay no income tax.

In a secret video, Mitt Romney said 47 percent of Americans don't pay federal income taxes – and he was right. Half of that 47 percent don’t owe anything because they can claim deductions. But the other half are workers who hold jobs that don't pay enough for them to owe income taxes to Uncle Sam (though federal payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security get deducted from their paychecks), according to Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

What kinds of jobs are these? Here are five jobs for which the median earnings would disqualify a family with two children from owing any federal income taxes, after deductions.

1. Library assistants

Lucas Jackson/REUTERS/File
Librarian Josh Soule (l.) speaks with Rosalind Licht as she reacts to lessons on how to set up and use a Facebook account at a branch of the New York Public Library in New York on Aug.13, 2012.

Despite the growth of online data networks, people still want to find books in libraries. And, when they need help, they ask a library assistant.

According to a recent job posting by the Boston Public Library, candidates for the job need tact in dealing with people, good oral skills, good judgment, and dependability. Computer skills are essential.

Although a high school diploma or GED is required, most library assistants will probably have some college under their belts. In fact, a recent job posting for the Sharon, Mass., public library, says a college degree is preferable.

“It’s a viable career for people who have worked as students or lived in communities where they have frequented libraries and have a love and passion for reading and helping patrons,” says Lorelle Swader, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment in Chicago.

That would be the case for Chris Amorosi, who works as a library assistant at the Saugus Public Library. “I enjoy anything involving organizing information and helping people find what they are looking for,” he says.

However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the pay is relatively modest: last year, the 109,440 library assistants had a mean annual salary of $25,570 a year.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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