Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

www.rocunited.org
Alabama does not have a state minimum wage
law, instead the federal 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
depegged from the minimum wage and has
remained frozen ever since. Including tips, tipped
workers in Alabama earn a median wage of only
$9.00—equivalent to $18,720 for a full-time
year-round employee. However, tipped workers
generally are allowed part-time schedules that
vary by season. Seven states have eliminated the
tipped minimum wage—in those states tipped
workers receive the full minimum wage.
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, over 30% are moms,
and although many are married, half of these
are single moms. Although the median age
for tipped workers is 30, 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.
TIPPED WORKERS AND THE RISING AMERICAN ELECTORATE
THE STATE
OF TIPPED
WORKERS
In Alabama there are nearly 63,000 tipped
workers, and over 66% 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
US economy. Unfortunately, the restaurant
industry offers several of Alabama’s lowest
paid jobs. Four of the ten lowest paid
occupations are in the restaurant industry,
and one of these is a tipped occupation.
LOWEST PAI D
TIPPED OCCUPATIONS
TIPPED
MINIMUM WAGE
$2.13
MINIMUM WAGE
$7.25
MEDIAN WAGE FOR
TIPPED WORKERS
INCLUDING TIPS
$9.00
GENDER
73%
2
7
%
TIPPED WORKERS WHO
WORK IN RESTAURANTS
66%
SERVERS
AL ABAMA
In states with a tipped minimum wage of $2.13,
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
POVERTY RATES IN $2.13 STATES
16% 25% 20%
POVERTY RATES IN STATES WITH NO TIP CREDIT
13% 14% 14%
TIPPED WORKERS AND THE RISING AMERICAN ELECTORATE
White 71%
Black 18%
Asian 6%
Latino 4%
Other 1%
<_
24 36%
25-34 23%
35-44 17%
45+ 25%
RACE
AGE
HIGHER EDUCATION
EDUCATION
PARENTS WITH CHILDREN
ON FREE LUNCHES
44%
MARITAL &
PARENTAL
STATUS
52
%
Married 35%
Parents 32%
Dads 27%
Moms 34%
Single Moms 18%
P
O
V
E
R
T
Y
Tipped restaurant
workers live in
POVERTY at 3X the
rate of the Alabama
workforce.
RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE
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.
FOR MORE INFO rocunited.org/stateoftippedworkers/
The industry projects employment will continue
to grow at the rate of 14% over the next decade.
H
INDUSTRY PROJECTED SALES 2014

6.6 BILLION
B
I
L
L
I
O
N
I
N
D
U
S
T
R
Y

G
R
O
W
T
H
53%
P
O
V
E
R
TY

R
A
T
E
P
O
V
E
R
TY

R
A
T
E
T
I
P
P
E
D

R
E
S
T
A
URA
N
T

W
O
R
K
E
R
S
T
I
P
P
E
D

WO
R
K
E
R
S
30
%
25
%
WORKERS ON
FOOD STAMPS
2X REST OF AL
WORKFORCE
20%
30
MEDIAN AGE
of tipped
worker moms
are single moms
MINIMIM
WAGE
$10.10
$12.00
$15.00
TIPPED
STIMULUS
$12.7
$19.4
$30.1

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