I ran into this problem a couple of years ago. Around 2011, I worked as a janitor for a private company that also offered concierge and security services. I bounced around there until May 2013. My pay the entire time was nine dollars an hour. I once even asked my manager for a raise but he wasn't able to give me one because if he gave me a raise, then he would have to give everyone in my entire building that worked as janitors raises as well. There were 20 people there. I even tried to become a concierge because I felt I could do the job. They were paid 11 dollars an hour and mostly hired young 20 year olds. It was a complete revolving door though as people came in and out. I figured I worked well as a janitor and they knew how good I worked, so I thought they might give me a shot as a concierge. I got an interview but they never gave me a shot. It seemed like if I stayed there, I mostly remain as a janitor unless I was given a supervisor role.
So I got out to my current company where I started out as a mail clerk. I did that for a year and a couple of months when I saw people interviewing for an open position one day, so I decided to ask one of the managers to ask if I could apply to the open position. I wasn't expecting much but I thought it was worth a shot. To my surprise, they said yes and I went on to do a data entry/customer service position. A while later, I was asked if I wanted to apply for an open accounting clerical position even though I did not have an accounting background. I figured it was worth a shot, so I said yes and now a year and half later here I am. I do my job well as it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.
I pretty much started at the bottom at two companies but I got lucky and found one where I could at the very least upgrade my job position to something different. The cleaning/concierge/security company cared more about profit and it showed as the managers would come in fancy cars and suits while paying nine dollars an hour to employees. The current company I am at which is a medical billing company has it's own problems but at the very least they gave me some more opportunities. Today I'm not a mail clerk but rather an accounting clerk but I am feeling like the current company I am in is a little more of a rarity than something that is common.