L ouisia N a

THE STATE OF TIPPED WORKERS

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

www.rocunited.org
tiPPeD worKers wHo worK iN restauraNts

In Louisiana there are nearly 80,000 tipped workers, and over 60% of these work in the restaurant industry. The restaurant industry employs nearly 10% of the workforce and is one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. Unfortunately, the restaurant industry offers several of Louisiana’s lowest paid jobs. Five of the ten lowest paid occupations are in the restaurant industry, including waiters and waitresses.

62%
lowest PaiD
tiPPeD occuPatioN

SERVER

Louisiana does not have a state minimum TiPPeD wage law, instead the federal minimum wage MiNiMuM waGe of $7.25 applies. The tipped minimum wage is even lower, standing at $2.13 for the last 23 years. In 1991 it was pegged at 50% of the federal minimum wage. In 1996 it was officially MiNiMuM waGe depegged from the minimum wage and has remained frozen ever since. Including tips, tipped workers in Louisiana earn a median wage of only $8.50 – equivalent to $17,680 for a MeDiaN waGe for full-time year-round employee. However, tipped tiPPeD worKers workers generally are allowed part-time schedules iNcluDiNG tiPs that vary by season. Seven states have eliminated the tipped minimum wage – in those states tipped workers receive the full minimum wage.

$2.13 $7.25 $8.50

TiPPeD WorKers aND tHe RisiNG AMericaN Electorate
The Rising American Electorate refers to the demographic groups that are growing the most rapidly, historically with lower voter participation rates, but whose growing civic engagement has been crucial in tipping the scales in recent elections. Tipped workers are primarily women, nearly 40% are moms, and although many are married, half of these are single moms. Although the median age for tipped workers is 31, half of them are younger. And they are racially diverse, overrepresented by Latinos, Asians, and African Americans compared to the broader workforce. They are also a highly educated group. Tipped workers are a snapshot of the RAE.

GeNDer
69%

31%

TiPPeD WorKers aND tHe RisiNG AMericaN Electorate

EDUCAtioN

46%
HiGHer eDucatioN

PareNtal
Status
Married 25% Parents 32% Dads 16% Moms 40% Single Moms 26%

Marital &

AGE RACE 31
MeDiaN AGe

< _ 24 34% 25-34 26% 35-44 16% 45+ 24%

67

White 58% Black 28% Asian 9% Latino 5% Other 0%

% of tipped

worker moms are single moms

POVERTY

TiPPeD restauraNt worKers

live in PovertY at 3X the rate of the U.S. workforce.

PP

ED worKe

oN free luNcHes In states with a tipped minimum wage of $2.13,

PareNts witH cHilDreN

ES

TAU R ANT

53%

the poverty rates for workers of color is nearly double that of the seven states without a tipped minimum wage, with one in four living in poverty.
White PeOple OF COlOr All

22%
INDUSTRY GROWTH

worKers oN fooD staMPs
2x rest of U.S. worKforce

PovertY rates iN $2.13 states

16% 25% 20%
PovertY rates iN states witH No tiP creDit

13% 14% 14%

The industry projects employment will continue to grow at the rate of 7% over the next decade.
H INDustrY ProJecteD sales 2014 ➤ 7 billioN

Raise tHe MiNiMuM WaGe

MiNiMiM

Living off tips is precarious, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Raising the minimum wage and eliminating the tipped credit would provide a significant stimulus to the U.S. economy in tipped wages alone, providing a boost to local economies and the broader food industry, as well.

WaGe

StiMulus $10.10 $12.7 $12.00 $19.4 $15.00 $30.1
BILLION

TiPPeD

FOR MORE INfO rocunited.org/stateoftippedworkers/

w

30%

P

OV

ERTY RAT

or

Kers

rs E

24%

P

OV

ERTY RAT

E

TI
TIPPED

R