Thursday, August 29, 2013

71 Percent Of Minimum-Wage Employees In The Restaurant Industry Are Younger Than 25

From The Wall Street Journal, "'McWages' Can Be the Path to the Middle Class: Fast-food protestors won't tell you that a $15 an hour wage will mean losing jobs." by Phil Hickey:
Consider the facts about the minimum wage. The majority of workers who earn a minimum wage in the United States work outside of the restaurant industry. In reality, only 5% of the 10 million restaurant employees earn the minimum wage. Those who do are predominantly teenagers working part-time jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of minimum-wage employees in the restaurant industry are under the age of 25; 47% are teenagers.

Washington politicians, labor unions and the media often portray service jobs as inferior or less valuable to society than other kinds of employment. Instead of degrading this type of hard work, critics might consider the pride that many restaurant workers take in their jobs and the skills they learn.

The U.S. restaurant industry is vital to the country's economic growth and has helped fuel the recovery now underway. While employment nationwide grew by 1.7% in 2012, restaurant industry employment grew 3.4%—making 2012 the 13th consecutive year that the restaurant industry has outperformed overall U.S. employment growth.

Many Americans rely on the additional income and flexibility these jobs offer as they seek to balance their careers with family responsibilities. Most industry workers, some 57%, are students with irregular schedules, teenagers saving for school or people who need a job with flexible hours that fit their busy lives. Part-time, entry-level work fills a critical need in the nation's workforce.

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