SunSentinel: “Hospitality workers among worst paid, FIU study finds”

By Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel

Even with high levels of education and experience, South Florida’s hospitality and leisure workers earn far lower annual wages than the overall population, according to a report released Thursday by Florida International University.

Hospitality workers in the West Palm BeachFort LauderdaleMiami area earned an average wage of $24,752, FIU’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy reported. In comparison, the average annual wage for all workers is more than $43,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Restaurant and food service workers are the lowest-paid of all hospitality workers, the FIU report said.

Workers at food and drinking places earned an average annual wage of $19,188 in 2013, compared with $32,032 in hotels and other accommodations and $41,704 in entertainment and recreation sectors.

“Though [hospitality] is a very important industry for our economy, the workers are one of the worst paid,” said Ali Bustamante, author of the report, part of a monthly series on inequality and the struggles of working-class families in the state.

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