Depressing new report: tipped workers are twice as likely to live in poverty

But can they afford to buy newspapers on those earnings?
But can they afford to buy newspapers on those earnings?

Jobs in the service industry aren’t easy, what with the need to deal with whiny people all the time, and having to make a living off what’s often a pretty meager wage can get really tough. A new report by the Community Service Society finds that New York’s tipped workers, like those working in the service industry, are twice as likely to live in poverty as non-tipped workers. They’re also much more likely to receive food stamps and Medicaid, which the CSS says marks the weight of labor costs being placed on the public.

Including earnings from tips, one in five tipped workers earns less than New York’s $8 minimum wage, and 30% make less than $8.88 per hour. While workers in New York City make a bit more than those in the rest of the state, the cost of living here makes it nearly impossible to get by on the less than $10 per hour that 30% of them earn. Additionally, tipped workers didn’t benefit from the increase in minimum wage from $7.25 to $8 per hour, and are still left making $5-5.65 per hour, before tips.

We’ve all had the friend who bartends or waits tables that seems like they’re doing really well, but this report makes it seem like they’re just getting lucky at a place with big spenders. Is it really this bad you bartenders and baristas out there? We figure the people working at the bars, restaurants, and coffee shops we love aren’t living in grinding poverty, but is there something our bartender friends aren’t telling us?

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