Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

www.rocunited.org
The state minimum wage is $7.25, but the
tipped minimum wage is even lower at
only $2.63. Including tips, tipped workers
in Arkansas earn a median wage of only
$8.00 — equivalent to $16,640 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. Higher wages
reduce turnover and pour millions of dollars
back into the local economy.
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 40% 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 Arkansas there are nearly 45,000 tipped
workers, and over 65% 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 Arkansas’s lowest
paid jobs. Five of the ten lowest paid
occupations are in the restaurant industry,
and two of these are tipped occupations.
2 LOWEST PAID
TIPPED OCCUPATIONS
SERVERS
NONRESTAURANT
FOOD SERVERS
TIPPED
MINIMUM WAGE
$2.63
MINIMUM WAGE
$7.25
MEDIAN WAGE FOR
TIPPED WORKERS
INCLUDING TIPS
$8.00
GENDER
70%
3
0
%
TIPPED WORKERS WHO
WORK IN RESTAURANTS
65%
ARKANSAS
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 69%
Black 16%
Latino 10%
Asian 4%
Other 2%
<_
24 33%
25-34 24%
35-44 17%
45+ 27%
RACE
AGE
HIGHER EDUCATION
EDUCATION
PARENTS WITH CHILDREN
ON FREE LUNCHES
34%
MARITAL &
PARENTAL
STATUS
47
%
Married 35%
Parents 35%
Dads 19%
Moms 42%
Single Moms 20%
P
O
V
E
R
T
Y
Tipped restaurant
workers live in
POVERTY at 3X the
rate of the Arkansas
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 13% over the next decade.
H
INDUSTRY PROJECTED SALES 2014

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

G
R
O
W
T
H
79%
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
28
%
23
%
WORKERS ON
FOOD STAMPS
3X REST OF AR
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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