Showing posts with label georgia restaurant association. Show all posts
Showing posts with label georgia restaurant association. Show all posts

Monday, April 26, 2021

More than 800,000 Georgians work in low-wage occupations with substitute teachers and restaurant workers among lowest paid jobs

 



Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Short-term substitute teachers and restaurant workers were among the lowest paid occupations in Georgia according to survey data released in April by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program.

In Georgia, the median wage for a substitute teacher was $9.08 per hour, while waiters and waitresses averaged $9.12. Both wage rates are classified as low wage and were less than 50 percent of the median wage of $18.59 recorded in the state for all occupations.

In all, nearly 845,000 Georgians worked in low-wage occupations where the median wage was less than $12.45 per hour. Low-wage occupations are defined as those that pay 2/3’s or less of the state’s median wage. Approximately 1.4 million Georgians are in occupations where the median wage is below $15 per hour.

Substitute teachers

The median wage for substitute teachers in metro areas of Georgia ranged from $8.61 in the Columbus metro area to $11.74 in the Hinesville metro area. The Atlanta metro area, which was home to largest percentage of substitute teachers in the state, paid a median wage of $9.09, close to the state average.

While the median wage was relatively uniform among areas, some areas reported a much higher average wage. The Valdosta metro area posted a median wage of $8.98 per hour, but an average wage of $17.54. The Macon area recorded a median wage of $11.65 but an average wage of $14.71.

The median wage provides the middle number among workers, the average reflects wages that tend to be outliers both at the lower and higher ends of the range. In a normal distribution of wages, the median and average wage would be close, but a higher average wage as compared to the median reflects higher wages being paid for some substitutes, perhaps reflecting more years of service to their educational systems or pay for some additional skills or educational background.

Restaurant workers

Of the lowest paid occupations in the state, those occupations with a median pay of between $9 to $10 per hour, 80 percent (237,000) were in occupations normally associated with full-service and limited-service restaurants.

The largest group were fast food and counter workers with median wages of $9.29 per hour followed by waiters and waitresses with median wages of $9.12. The highest paid group were dishwashers with median wages of $

In May 2020, eight food-related occupations employed more than 247,000 people in Georgia, while in May 2019, these same occupations employed more than 289,000 workers, a more than 15 percent decline.

Combined, these seven occupations employed more than 237,000 people in the state in 2020 with a median wage of less than $9.30 per hour.

With the coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants, the number of people in these food-related positions actually declined 14 percent from 2019, when they totaled 275,660 workers.


About the data

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey

measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm

establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-

industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas,

including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs),

nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the

NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels;

and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals.

 

The OEWS survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies

(SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while

the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OEWS estimates are constructed

from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels

of approximately 180,000 to 185,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel

in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other

electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2020 estimates are based

on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2020,

November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017. The unweighted

sampled employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents

approximately 56 percent of total national employment. The overall national response

rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 69

percent based on establishments and 66 percent based on weighted sampled employment. 

 


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Restaurant workers and the minimum wage: Georgia needs a true fact-finding panel

There continues to be heated discussions over the federal and state minimum wage in Georgia even though the Georgia General Assembly will not convene until January.



The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report shows that in 2014 approximately 119,000 Georgians were paid at or below the federal minimum wage with 57,000 at the minimum wage of $7.25 and another 62,000 paid below it. Together, this represents about 5.5% of the state’s hourly workers.

On WABE’s Closer Look radio program, Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, and Shannayl Connolly with the TM Restaurant Group, outlined their opposition to increases in both the federal and state minimum wage, which currently stand at $7.25 and $5.15 respectively.

The two spokeswomen insisted that the minimum wage should be seen as only an entry level wage. Furthermore, Ms. Bremer asserted that in the Atlanta market, entry level food service workers began at closer to $9.00 per hour implying that the average wage would be much higher for more experienced workers.

Looking at specific occupations, in May 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that for food preparation and serving occupations in the Atlanta metro area, the average wage was $9.77 per hour.

Of the 16 occupations showing average wages, first line supervisors had the highest average at $14.27, while dishwashers and host and hostesses shared the lowest average rate at $8.62.

Looking at average wages for the occupations, 5 had average rates below $9 per hour, 4 were between $9 and $10, and 7 paid an average of $10 or better.

It is difficult to imagine how entry level wages could begin at $9 in the Atlanta area for five occupations where the average wage is below $9 and four more averaged less than $10.

Table.1. Average hourly wages for selected occupations in food preparation and serving, May 2014
Occupation
Statewide Georgia
Metro Atlanta
Restaurant cooks
$ 10.82
$ 11.41
Short order cooks
9.66
10.22
Fast food cooks
8.72
8.80
Food preparation workers
9.74
9.97
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food
8.52
8.63
Dishwashers
8.59
8.62
Host and hostesses
8.56
8.62
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014

Regarding Ms. Bremer’s assertion that minimum wage jobs were entry level positions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nationally about half of workers earning at or below the minimum wage were age 25 or older, contradicting the perception that the minimum wage mostly affects teenagers and those just starting out in the labor market. No similar age data are available specifically for Georgia.

Advocates in Georgia continue to push to raise both the state’s and the nation’s minimum wage

The Atlanta Progressive News reports that an “Atlanta People’s Wage Board” met in October to take testimony on raising the minimum wage. While styled after the New York board formed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Atlanta board was strictly an unofficial body wanting to focus attention on increasing the minimum wage rather than a fact-finding panel.

State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) discussed Georgia House Bill 8 that would increase the minimum wage to $15, and eliminate exemptions that allow some workers to be paid below the current minimum wage, such as tipped employees. The Senator indicated that he plans to introduce a companion bill in the Georgia Senate in the next session of the legislature.

HB 8 was introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives by State Rep. Dewey McClain (D-Lawrenceville), who is President of the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, but the bill has not yet received a hearing.


This discussion is sure to continue into the 2016 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly, but the discussion will not be helped if assertions cannot be backed with statistically useful information. 

A true fact-finding panel might shed light on the matter.