economy jobs Markets unemployment

October Jobs Report Beats Handily, Revisions Add 95k To September, August

And so, the labor market hangs tough, it would appear.

And so, the labor market hangs tough, it would appear.
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8 comments on “October Jobs Report Beats Handily, Revisions Add 95k To September, August

  1. What percentage were low wage/no benefit jobs? Waitresses and home health aides get paid jack.

    • hang on there. that depends on what you mean by “waitresses”. remember, any numbers you see reported for what “waitresses and bartenders” make are understated by nearly half. I used to giggle at how naive one website was when they made fun of additions to “waitress and bartender” payrolls. most cash tips are not reported. although the percentage of tips left in cash has obviously declined substantially with the proliferation of debit cards and other forms of digital payments, you also have to remember that most “regulars” at bars and restaurants know to tip in cash so that their favorite bartenders and servers don’t have to report it. point being, whatever you think a “waitress” makes, you can add ~40% to that. a waitress in Manhattan can easily make $100k, but crucial thing to remember is, that number doesn’t fall in lockstep with the cost of living. So, for instance, a waitress in a small city won’t make the $100k that one in Manhattan would make, but can still make $65k, with a cost of living that is 75% to 80% lower than the cost of living in NYC.

      when I studied this in grad school, most waiters and bartenders at high-end restaurants in the area made nearly twice as much as adjunct faculty members at the university. that was a long time ago, but i imagine it’s still some semblance of true, if not more so given how hard colleges are leaning on adjuncts to cut costs

      • another true story: i once knew a guy (actually got to be good friends with him) who figured out how to game the system. he worked just enough hours at a salaried restaurant job (i.e., as a cook) to get the benefits, and then above and beyond that minimum threshold for hours, he worked at the “front-end” of the same place waiting tables. so, he got a paycheck, benefits, and tips. it was a low-end place, so he still didn’t make much, but the last time i spoke to him (admittedly like 13 years ago), he was in a small town making nearly $50k with benefits, and all from a low-end restaurant, and his effective tax rate was much lower than it should have been because by virtue of it being a low-end restaurant, mot of the tips actually were in cash (because the average tickets were very low, most people just left loose change and loose dollar bills). he reported virtually none of those tips

  2. Anecdotal. Where was I just reading that most servers end up making just above the minimum wage and often are subject to uncertain hours. Sure, a senior server at a posh NYC restaurant can potentially rake in big bucks, but the poor souls working at Fat Al’s Cafe aint so lucky.

    That said, the preponderance of restaurant/hospitality along with medical hiring since 2009 helps explain the tepid wage and retail sales growth we’ve seen. It also may help explain why we see wage growth pick up every January, when the minimum wage hikes have kicked in, and then drop back.

    • I can promise you that much of my assessment above is not merely “anecdotal”. And no, you do not have to work at a “posh” NYC restaurant to make good money in food service. That just isn’t true. And neither is this: “…most servers end up making just above the minimum wage”.

      Again, there is no way for anyone to know that because servers do not report between 30%-40% of their income to the government. They just don’t. They never have and they never will. And there is no way for the government to verify servers’ income. It simply isn’t possible.

      Obviously, that’s not to say that waiters and bartenders are among America’s “elite”, but it is definitely to say that unless you’re talking about Waffle House, servers and bartenders make a lot more than you think they do. Their spending habits and financial discipline are a whole different matter.

  3. Wait isn’t that still slower than before? Just not as slow as predicted. 128k is on the low end for the last several years. Most months average around 200k.

  4. What is the breakdown between well-paying jobs and Waffle House service jobs? Nor is it only front end staff in those stats. Sure – local “celebrity chefs” can do well, but the dishwashers and prep cooks? Nor can you convince me that hotel room cleaners live high on the hog from tips.

    The same applies in the healthcare category. It’s not all MDs and RNs. Home health aides are lucky to earn a dollar or two over the minimum wage (well below what their agency charges the customer).

    Look at the income and sales figures. There are reasons they are so tepid given the total hiring numbers. I think the category breakdown pre and post 2008 helps explain much of it.

    But what do i know?

  5. Oct 128K + 40K strike = 168K.

    Sep 180K (adjusted) -27K census = 153K.

    Considering the error bars (wide), seems like monthly jobs running somewhere in the 150-170K range.

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