Restaurant jobs: High turnover, lower wagesby Pam Dempsey (Reporter, CU-CitizenAccess.org)
on Sep 12, 2011
This week CU-CitizenAccess.org and Illinois Public Media explore and discuss restaurant inspections in Central Illinois - the process of health inspections and the usefulness of keeping the public informed of inspectors’ findings.
The number of people employed in Champaign County full-service restaurants was 3,430 people in the third quarter of 2010 , according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The restaurant industry is a high turnover industry, which provides ample jobs. Yet wages on average are low.
In Champaign County, turnover in full-service restaurants for the third quarter of 2010 was nearly 18 percent and average monthly earnings was about $1,300. For new hires, the average monthly earnings was about $950, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Average monthly earnings in all industries overall in Champaign County were about $3,400 and nearly $2,000 for new hires. Job turnover overall was at about 8 percent.
While the number of available job openings for food and beverage service workers is expected to increase nationally about 10 percent , combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food workers are expected to increase 15 percent.
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 edition on "food and beverage serving and related workers":
* Most jobs are part time and have few educational requirements, attracting many young people to the occupation—21 percent of these workers were 16 to 19 years old in 2008, about six times the proportion for all workers.
* Job openings are expected to be abundant through 2018, which will create excellent opportunities for jobseekers.
* Tips comprise a major portion of earnings for servers, so keen competition is expected for jobs in fine dining and more popular restaurants where potential tips are greatest.