Kentucky follows federal minimum wage

guidelines. The federal minimum wage is $7.25,
but the tipped minimum wage is even lower. It
has stood 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 Kentucky
earn a median wage of only $8.50 — equivalent
to $17,680 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, nearly 40% are moms,
and although many are married, more than
half of these are single moms. Although the
median age for tipped workers is 29, 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 Kentucky there are over 65,000 tipped
workers, and 70% 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 Kentucky’s lowest
paid jobs. Six of the ten lowest paid
occupations are in the restaurant industry,
and two of these are tipped occupations.
TIPPED
MINIMUM WAGE
$2.13
MINIMUM WAGE
$7.25
MEDIAN WAGE FOR
TIPPED WORKERS
INCLUDING TIPS
$8.50
GENDER
77%
2
3
%
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
www.rocunited.org
COUNTER ATTENDANTS
SERVERS
2 LOWEST PAID
TIPPED OCCUPATIONS
TIPPED WORKERS WHO
WORK IN RESTAURANTS
70%
KENT UCKY
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 87%
Black 5%
Asian 4%
Latino 4%
Other 1%
<_
24 37%
25-34 27%
35-44 13%
45+ 23%
RACE
AGE
HIGHER EDUCATION
EDUCATION
PARENTS WITH CHILDREN
ON FREE LUNCHES
44%
MARITAL &
PARENTAL
STATUS
58
%
Married 28%
Parents 33%
Dads 11%
Moms 39%
Single Moms 23%
P
O
V
E
R
T
Y
TIPPED
RESTAURANT WORKERS
live in POVERTY at 2X the
rate of the Kentucky 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 9% over the next decade.
H
INDUSTRY PROJECTED SALES 2014

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

G
R
O
W
T
H
55%
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
%
24
%
WORKERS ON
FOOD STAMPS
2X REST OF KY
WORKFORCE
24%
29
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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