Our nation’s future depends on our ability to provide the largest segment of our labor force with stable, family-supporting work.
The changing structure of the American labor force, 1900-2010 (Martin Prosperity Institute)
Members of the service class make just $32,272 per year on average. That’s 30 percent less than the national average of $46,440 and less than half the $75,759 average for the creative class, who work in science and technology; business and management; arts, media, and culture; and healthcare, education, and law. The lowest paid members of the service class—the 16 million workers who toil in food service and personal care work—average less than $25,000 a year.
Service class work is disproportionately performed by women, who hold 62 percent of service class jobs, compared to less than half of all jobs. And the gender pay gap for service class work is substantial: service class women make just two-thirds of what service class men make.
Minorities also make up a disproportionate share of the service class. Half of Hispanic-Latino workers and 55 percent of black workers do service class jobs, compared to 45 percent of whites and 40 percent of Asians.