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The decade-long economic expansion has been a boon to those at the top of the economic ladder.But it left millions of workers behind, particularly the 4.4 million workers who rely on tips to earn a living, fully two-thirds of them women.But these employers are hiring, and these jobs are becoming a fallback for people whose former jobs placed them solidly in the middle class.Food-service jobs have grown nearly 50% over the past two decades, to 12.2 million, according to the BLS.This “sometimes” work has put the stress of earning a weekly wage, paying for health insurance and saving for retirement squarely on the shoulders of workers.
After an eight-hour shift on her feet, shuffling between a stuffy kitchen and the red vinyl booths of Broad Street Diner, Christina Munce is at a standstill in traffic.
If another recession starts, “the primary hit is going to generally be in sectors that don’t involve providing basic services to other people,” says Jacob Vigdor, an economist at the University of Washington. 20, President Trump, while declaring the economy still strong, said the Administration is examining various options to bolster the economy.
Still, whenever the next recession comes, more workers will have to turn to the booming service industry, where low wages and unstable hours are the norm. She was in school studying massage therapy when, at 21, she got pregnant, and started waiting tables to put away the cash she would need as a young mother.
Though high-paying service jobs have been growing quickly in recent months, middle-wage jobs are growing more slowly and could decline sharply in the event of a recession, says Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody’s Analytics.
Those who lose their jobs in a recession usually move down, not up, the pay scale.
It varies by state from as low as $2.13 (the federal tipped minimum wage) in 17 states including Texas, Nebraska and Virginia, up to $9.35 in Hawaii.