Since 2014 The US Has Added 547,000 Waiters And Bartenders And Lost 32,000 Manufacturing Workers

Tyler Durden's picture

As another month passes, the great schism inside the American labor force get wider. We are referring to the unprecedented divergence between the total number of high-paying manufacturing jobs, and minimum-wage food service and drinking places jobs, also known as waiters and bartenders. In September, according to the BLS, while the number of people employed by "food services and drinking places" rose by another 30,000, the US workforce lost another 13,000 manufacturing workers.

The chart below puts this in context: since 2014, the US had added 547,000 waiters and bartenders, and has lost 32,000 manufacturing workers.

Yet while we would be the first to congratulate the new American waiter and bartender class, something does not smell quite right. On one hand, there has been a spike in recent restaurant bankruptcies or mass closures (Logan's, Fox and Hound, Bob Evans), which has failed to reflect in the government report. However, what we find more suspect, is that according to the BLS' seasonally adjusted "data", starting in March of 2010 and continuing through September of 2016, there has been just one month in which restaurant workers lost jobs, and alternatively, jobs for waiters and bartenders have increased in 78 out of the past 79 months.

Putting this divergence in a long context, since the official start of the last recession in December 2007, the US has gained 1.7 million waiters and bartenders, and lost 1.5 million manufacturing workers. Worse, while the latter series had been growing, if at a slower pace than historically, it has now clearly rolled over, and in 2016, some 58,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

Like last month, we remain curious what this "data" series will look like after it is revised by the BLS shortly after the NBER declares the official start of the next recession.

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Looney's picture


I wonder how many of those 547,000 waiters are STILL going to vote for Hillary?   ;-)


MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Here we go again with the career shaming of service professionals. Who's to say a manufacturing worker is better than a service professional? The restaurant industry offers people many career paths such as catering, distribution, food preparation and food safety. Many of these waiters will go on to become titans of the service industry, which is now our leading and fastest growing industry. Let go of manufacturing - China does it better than us. Services are the future of America.

Real Libertarians – Bill Maher and Gary Johnson

TeamDepends's picture

Why, you can also turn to prostitution, or simply pop out some babies and/or jump on the EBT gravy train and ride it all the way to Utopia! Welcome to Barrymerica, where we make nothing but consume like there's no tomorrow.

Paul Kersey's picture

To prepare for the hurricane, I went to Walmart (with a paper bag over my head) to buy flashlights. I bought a surprisingly powerful, soft plastic flashlight, that came loaded with AAA batteries, for one dollar. Somehow, the Chinese were able to manufacture the flashlight and batteries, pay the tariffs the shipping, and Walmart was able to buy it from them and sell it at a profit for only $1.

How can American factory workers compete with that? It's no accident that the US has gone from the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor nation. A new world order is firmly in place. Yesterday's factory worker is today's bartender or barista.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Paul Kersey Oct 7, 2016 12:07 PM

Can Trump bring up this Inconvenient Truth on Sunday?


Justin Case's picture

I bet if you shine that flashlight through MDB one ear it'll shine out the other side.

LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD's picture
LowerSlowerDelaware_LSD (not verified) Paul Kersey Oct 7, 2016 1:17 PM

"How can American factory workers compete with that?"

They can't.  But... it is the American consumer who **refuses** to buy the $10 flashlight that is made in the USA, opting to pay $1 for the one made in China by Chinese robots instead.  The consumer is driving the manufacturing jobs overseas.  The consumer can at any time bring manufacturing back to the U.S. by ONLY buying made in USA.

Paul Kersey's picture

"They can't. But... it is the American consumer who **refuses** to buy the $10 flashlight that is made in the USA, opting to pay $1 for the one made in China by Chinese robots instead."

If the flashlights were made in US factories, they would also be made by Chinese robots. Automation will take 80 million US jobs over the next two decades. Everything is in motion, no one is going back to buggy whips.

Bunghole's picture

There aint no $1 flashlights at Walmart.  I was looking at them the other day.

Fleshlighs maybe.

Idaho potato head's picture

Soon to have more hookers than you can shake a big stick at....

HalinCA's picture

Actually, we borrow money from our unborn great grandchildren to fund our EBT gravy train and pay all those MDB babies waiting tables.

What could possibly go wrong?


Consuelo's picture





8.5, 8.0, 8.5, 8.0, 8.0



Mr. Hyperborean's picture

China does manufacturing better? You have obviously never bought a Chinese made piece of oilfield equipment, have you?

Project_Engineer's picture

Talk about shaming people who work in manufacturing. People who actually produce something worth while and useful. Any fool can wait tables.

SmedleyButlersGhost's picture

I up voted on the assumption you meant to ask if he wanted to rub one out. 






thatthingcanfly's picture

I hope Trump's advisors are loading him up with a few of these data points. Would love to see him hammer Hillary with this in the next debate. Absolutely shameless that the Dems keep bragging about how much the economy and job market has improved.

Doña K's picture

No way that many service workers were added as bar and restaurants are suffering


Mark of Zerro's picture

Long liquor.  Short tips.



Thebighouse's picture

Something about the smell of bullshit.

Calling you out obummer.

Your legacy......BULLSHIT

ejmoosa's picture

When you graph out the data of year over year job growth for the 12 months ending September, we are at a 4 year low.

And the scary thing is that it is much worse than reported.

csmith's picture

Nothing complicated here. Hire 3 part time service people for every manufacturer laid off.

J J Pettigrew's picture

Central bankers, in their effort to smooth out cycles....has created a MEGA CYCLE..... Hayek was correct, Yellen and Bernanke dead wrong. They can't exit... Bernanke promised an exit, in an article July 2009 in the WSJ, that when unemployment dipped below 6.5%, rates would normalize


WIth the constant flow of cheap labor, wages have downward pressures....

E Verify and watch wages jump......

but no...... not PC

Justin Case's picture

It was said long ago that once they cross the Rubicon of money printing there is no exit. That has been proven many times in history. In the hudreds of currency failures there was one exception. I was never able to find that article again, so I can't tell you what country managed that miracle or the method in which they exited the abyss.

Publicus's picture

This is what happens when robots replace humans. We should at least tax robots the market wage.

LawsofPhysics's picture



Global Weimar coming to the global plantation...

Thebighouse's picture

Shame on all the creators of that bullshit.  They need  some prison time.

Jethro's picture

More waitstaff...just in time for diminishing discretionary income.

Diatom's picture

Murika is going down the drain...

Keep on pumping funny money... and pushing globalization for the 0,1%...

micmac's picture

cheaper workforce outside us?

OutaTime43's picture

I believe Hillary Clinton calls this "progress".

youngman's picture

I had a restaurant at one time.....for 6 years...and most waitstaff last about 3 all those new jobs are just a new replacement for the one you lost or faded away...I dont think its new restaurants opening up all over the seats added....I dont see that

wmbz's picture

The magic negro has worked wonders over his 8 hope&change years.

Just think how much better things will be if the Hildacunt gets in. "Free" college for all, 'free' sickness care for all. Much higher taxes for the really rich folks... which would be what's left of the middle class, in her fucked up brain.

It's been decdes in the making, but Amerika is seriously fucked!

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

Just think how much better things will be if the Hildacunt gets in. "Free" college for all, 'free' sickness care for all.

And a free ObamaCare pill to make Granny go to sleep and never wake up.  The death panels have to save money on that 'free' sickness care, you know.

RattieNomNom's picture

Barry preparing barrista nation for Hitlery!

Consuelo's picture



 I'd like to see how much influence the FANG economy (regionally speaking) has on these charts - Tyler can you put one of your crack muckrakers on this ...?    Reason being, we know the FANG's already have an outsized influence on the S&P, and that it is discretionary income which drives the 'Barternder & waiter' economy - wherever it happens to be, so it stands to reason - regionally (and perhaps influencing the national aggregate as well), that the tech economy here in the Bay Area is a large - if not the driver of this metric.

Whaddya think...?

quasi_verbatim's picture

Basement Baristas have nothing to lose but their brains/chains/drains.

Seasmoke's picture

Gold is getting annihilated again. It's every day now. We are going to be going to zero !!!!

Consuelo's picture



Think of it more as an ongoing buying opportunity for the Chinese - and the Russians.   And even the Iranians.   And even us Po-dunks...

SillySalesmanQuestion's picture

Hope and change you can believe in! From the most transparently, corrupt administration, evah...

sharonsj's picture

Where are all those waiters and bartenders working?  Restaurants are closing down everywhere and the casinos in Atlantic City went bust.  And last I heard, the push to sell liquor licences in Washington state turned out to be a bust as well.  What's left?  The Hamptons?

meco1999's picture

Marijuana specialty boutique shops in Colorado and other states legalizing.

voxale's picture

But I thought minimum wage is going up? Besides, I like living in mommy and daddy's basement. 

Manipulism's picture

Who served the shit in restaurants before?

Was there only selfservice?

dogismycopilot's picture

Hillary Campaign is creating jobs....outspending Trump 5 to 1 on hires. Check out the comments. These HRC supporters think a fucking campaign position is a job!

SloMoe's picture

Hey, Chinese real estate investors need fast, efficient, service, when their tour bus stops for lunch breaks...

falak pema's picture

Imagine how Hollande feels at seeing that chart!

If I didn't have Mutti on my back I would be up there with Obama, without his two termer handicap. I could even dream of the Elysee for 5 moar years!

Haha! Bartenders and milk maids make these useless politicians drool in their bedside dreams; to allay their nightmares of DB dropping a turd and Aleppo's poundings making them look like impotent statesmen of first world who can't sell anything except the bullets and planes flying over Aleppo to all and sundry; friend or foe !