“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. Munce is on food stamps and Medicaid, and many days doesn’t make it to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. One of her recent paychecks read $58.67 for 49 hours worked. Add in the $245 she took home in tips, and she made about $6.20 an hour. She wants to work 40-hour weeks, but some days the diner is slow and she gets sent home early. ‘I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, all I do is save money,’ Munce says.
“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. They are on track to surpass America’s manufacturing workforce, which, at 12.8 million, has fallen 25% over the same period. . . .
“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. On Aug. 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.”
FULL STORY published August 22, 2019 via TIME