Since 2014 The US Has Added Half A Million Waiters & Bartenders And No Manufacturing Workers: Here's Why

Tyler Durden's picture

As part of our monthly tradition showing the gaping disparity in the quality of the US labor market, we present the breakdown between the lowest paid jobs available, those for workers in "food services and drinking places", also known as waiters and bartenders, and compare them to the number of workers in the traditionally best paid sector, manufacturing.

Here is the bottom line: as the chart below shows, there have been half a million waiter and bartender jobs added since 2014, and no manufacturing jobs.

This explains why contrary to the BLS's seasonally adjusted models optimistically showing a pick up in wage growth, the US economy has so far failed to observe any form of benign demand-pull inflation.

So what accounts for this troubling deteriorationg in the US labor market continue every single month? Here is one explanation.

Back in January, the ECRI's Lakshman Achuthan’s made a troubling observation. The sustained decline in the official jobless rate – now near the Fed’s estimate of “full employment” – is a misleading indicator of labor market health, he said.

Indeed, the stagnation in nominal wage growth is consistent with the weakness in the employment/population (E/P) ratio. After dropping to three-decade lows in the wake of the Great Recession, the E/P ratio has barely improved since the fall of 2013, reversing only a quarter of its decline from its pre-recession highs. Furthermore – as a breakdown of the E/P ratio by education level shows – even this modest improvement is illusory.

Since 2011, when the E/P ratio for those with less than a high school diploma bottomed, that metric has now regained all of its recessionary losses (green line). But the E/P ratio for high school or college graduates – i.e., eight out of nine American adults – has not recovered any of its recessionary losses, and has barely budged in four years (red line).

We have updated the chart below and it looks as follows:

Unfortunately, this data underscores how the jobs recovery has been spearheaded by
cheap labor, with job gains going disproportionately to the least
educated — and lowest-paid — workers, many of whom have to work multiple
jobs to make ends meets.

It also means that while the BLS can liberally apply seasonal adjustment lipstick on the unadjusted payrolls report to make it more attractive, the truth for most Americans is that the so-called recovery continue to escape most working-age Americans. The only good news is that restaurant workers appear to still be hiring... at least until all new waiters are replaced by robots.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Bartender. Another round for the 1%.

On them.

Consuelo's picture



 And Bruce Willis...



LMAOLORI's picture



After NAFTA: $1.66B Merchandise Trade Surplus With Mexico Became $60.66B Deficit



Clinton woos Republicans to secure Nafta vote: President offers to support re-election of all who help get trade accord through US Congress as narrow victory predicted



Budd aka Sidewinder's picture

Yeah but doesn't 3 waiter/bartender jobs equal one manufacturing job so even/Steven right?

BandGap's picture

That's funny, but I'll bet it will be used during discussions of this wonderful recovery.

Three 29.5 hour a week jobs and you avoid ObummaCare.

What a fucked up system.

SERReal1's picture

I thought it was more like 4 or 5 to 1....

youngman's picture

someone has to make all the booze....

DavidC's picture

Today has done my head in - I've been trying to trade this market since the Brexit vote and I'm out now. More fool me I guess thinking it would not be controlled for the election.

When this blows, and it will, it's going to be almighty.


Infield_Fly's picture
Infield_Fly (not verified) Aug 5, 2016 11:59 AM

And restaurant chain revenues are tanking.



pitz's picture

Extreme overbuilding, at least around here.  Only so many restaurant steaks and chain burritos I could possibly eat before longing for some proper home cooking.

bigkahuna's picture

Better paying jobs let us extricate ourselves from debt (if we want) - or allow us to take on more debt. I guess the banksters are content to burn the candle at both ends by making wages suck while piling on the little debt we can take on at this level.

At least they know at current wage levels we wil almost certainly never get out of debt. We are all wage slaves now. Welcome to moder n day slavery.

I cannot believe that people actually want to keep it this way - heck, it is the wage slaves that want to keep it this way. I hope they enjoy it, they will get no quarter here.

oddjob's picture

Would you like Fries with that?

SheepDog-One's picture

Hooray! Beertender gimme 'nother round *hic*

buzzsaw99's picture

underpaid workers serving up cheap booze with crappy mix at inflated prices. truly a metaphor for the entire eCONoME.

Hillarys Server's picture

Poor Hillary. If she loses, she can't manufacture or be a waitress.

"Miss, I didn't order this."

-- What difference does it make.

Firepower's picture

Killery's Liberal Nazism ensures a fa-a-a-abulous! Reich - for her Elite Ruling Class cronies. The fix is in: see the Vegas odds. Done.

Hillarys Server's picture

"Miss, my silverware's dirty. Did you wipe it?"

-- Like with a cloth? No, no...

Hillarys Server's picture

"Miss, your husband raped me."

-- Sorry, I'm busy now. I'll get to you right after your suicide or mysterious car crash.

"Miss, we ordered two coffees."

-- Sorry, it was more convenient for me just to carry one.

"Miss, there's uranium in my salad."

-- Yes, thank you for contributing change to the Unicef box.

"Miss, could I have some cream for my coffee?"

-- Do you really think you have the right temperament to have cream in your coffee?

Icewater Enema's picture

And then there's this:

"Miss, we would like to order now."

- Before I can do anything for you, you'll have to make a contribution to my family foundation, understand?

SheepDog-One's picture

You ordered that SO long ago!

roadhazard's picture

America has to fit in with third world countries economies. It would be unfair to them to bring theirs up to what Was American wage standards. It's over and done now so forget it ever going back to what it was with good paying manufacturing jobs. That's the reason for all the bartenders, so they can listen to you cry in your beer while you keep voting repuke or democrap.

mary mary's picture

Those third world countries certainly aren't playing fair.  They seem to have no gratitude for the Europeans and Americans who loved them so much that that they would enslave them in order to save their Souls.  /sarc

Dr. Acula's picture

Only 2% of us are employed in agriculture, down from 50% in 1870! Down from 99% in the middle ages!

We can't afford these silly manufacturing jobs making gizmos and doodads, we need more farmers now! Or we're going to starve!

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

All of this is true, but there is another reason why manufacturing jobs are not increasing ... people have become too damn lazy to work.

A local window manufacturing plant here has been trying for years to add staff because of increased demand, but most of the new employees quit after a day or two because the work involves - are you ready for this? - manual labor.

"What?  You mean I have to actually WORK?  You mean it can't be done on a phone or iPad?  And it doesn't have a starting wage of $20/hour plus full benefits?  Screw this shit!" (this, from unskilled labor)

So the owners of the plant have decided to invest in machinery that will almost completely automate their window production process, an investment somewhere between $5 million and $10 million.  The existing employees will retain their jobs, but new hiring will shrink dramatically.

Meanwhile, we continue to subsidize lazy bums who feel entitled and are more interested in Farcebook than in earning a living.

mary mary's picture

Why should FSA work, when it's so easy to get welfare?

roadhazard's picture

Welfare isn't like it used to be, for the last several years you can only be on welfare for a year.

Dr. Acula's picture

"we continue to subsidize lazy bums"

Isn't that what democracy is about? Struggling to gain control of apparatuses of violence used to steal other people's stuff.

Firepower's picture


a window factory - in a colored hood!

talk about built-in demand!!.

letsee, $20 today adjusted fer inflation is like

$3.65 in 1978 dollaz!

Hillarys Server's picture

Why work if you can live in your mother's basement and play video games?

To them, planning for the future is just to play more video games and vote democrat.

mary mary's picture

This is what Donald Trump needs to be talking (or "tweeting") about.

"It's the economy, stupid".  (Not meaning "stupid" personally.)

pitz's picture

He has been, if you've watched his campaign speeches and read his platform.  Too bad he had to get bogged down with all that Muslim stuff.

moonmac's picture

Americans experienced in setting up CNC machines are now setting tables?

Youri Carma's picture

So where are all these bartenders needed? It would imply that more people go to bars and restaurants while we see the opposite happening. So I think this bartender story is BS too. I think one has to seek it more in the so-called (Double or Triple) 'Seasonal Adjustments' fakery.

jewish_master's picture

polrized economy. top 20-10% go more to bar and restuatnts cause they have more free cash - close to the fed money fountain, while the rest 90% serves them. those who are sitting close to the fed table do the spending - the else toil to keep them enterteind and wipe thier dogs ass. soon we will bring back the collosuem and gladiators.

welcome to the middle ages. this can go awhile - 1000 years.

Anopheles's picture

Bread and circuses.

EBT cards and every political distraction to make the sheeple forget reality. 

el mago's picture
el mago (not verified) Youri Carma Aug 5, 2016 1:28 PM

They count part time jobs as full time. If a bar hires 3 part timers instead of one full timer, it counts as 3 jobs instead of 1. 

el mago's picture
el mago (not verified) Aug 5, 2016 1:21 PM

The best economy in the world!

pitz's picture

I've been saying this for many years, that the 'educated' have been taking it in the arse, while the economy has been illustrious, historically speaking, for the unskilled and those on various forms of government assistance (including government employment).

H-1Bs, OPTs, and other guest worker visa scams have been used relentlessly by the elite to suppress the wages of the 'educated', particularly in the high cost (but high-value) STEM professions.  But aside from the sideshow that is illegal Mexican immigration on the southern border, the unskilled have faced little competition. 

In the oil booms, North Dakota, and in Alberta, high school dropouts were routinely out-earning engineering professionals working in the oilpatch. 

jewish_master's picture

clearing the mddle so more dough be left to the managmnet. keeping some for manual labor wholl never oppose them. u see the enemy of the olgarchy is the middle class, not the proletreon.

Swamidon's picture

There are a number of really good jobs around but unfortunately for Millennials good employers expect a good attitude along with the ability to actually work (produce) without whining.   Good jobs go begging for good applicants these days.

pitz's picture

What jobs might these be? 

Iam_Silverman's picture

"What jobs might these be? "

Well, for one I can see a huge need for editors and proofreaders in most everything I read today.  Judging by the average post here, I can see why those positions go largely unfilled.

pitz's picture

Ever consider that the firms that publish such materials just don't want to pay to hire competent individuals?  They're out there, they're probably applying to employers in droves.  They just don't see any value in picking up the phone and hiring.

Iam_Silverman's picture

Well, it seems what we have here is a classification error.

So, do you really think that those drinks make themselves? Did that hamburger jump on that griddle and then assemble itself? Of course not. Bartending and short order cooks are the backbone of the new manufacturing paradigm. Let's recognize them for their contributions and count their efforts as manufacturing jobs rather than menial service industry jobs! It's the only fair thing to do.

Wow, I can't believe I typed that with a straight face. The force of MDB_ must be growing.

opport.knocks's picture

It's just the trickle down effect from the Financial Sector which completely dominates the US economy. Bankers like to eat and drink. They buy their expensive toys from foreign companies.