Most of Those Allegedly Great New Jobs for Women Are In Waitressing


We’re well into what feels like our 129384712th consecutive month of articles harping on the notion that men are being screwed by this man-cession because they can’t seem to man-age to man-euver their way back into man-jobs while meanwhile women Take The Lead and Lean In and End Men. And if you just look at the numbers, it appears that women are doing better getting jobs back. Too bad most of those jobs are in the lucrative dream job field of waitressing.

Bloomberg crunched the numbers and found that most of “new” jobs for women — how do I put this gently? — fucking suck.

Of the 125,000 jobs women gained last month, 54,000 were in retail, leisure and hospitality, and just 24,000 in professional and business services. Many of those are part-time, 34 hours or less a week.
Women have taken restaurant and retail jobs instead of teaching and other public-sector career positions that have disappeared, said Joan Entmacher, vice president for family economic security at the Washington-based law center. Females lost 444,000 public-sector jobs in the four years starting in June 2009, when the recession ended, compared with 290,000 for men.

I don’t mean to shit on waitressing, retail, and home health care or comment on the value of the people who perform those jobs; I’ve waited tables before and it’s hard, real work. I am, however, shitting on how little money most waitresses make compared to, say, teachers or nurses.

On a larger scale, the trend away from middle income public sector jobs toward low income private sector jobs is troubling because it affirms what your exhaustingly energetic hippie aunt has been insisting on for years — income disparity in this country is widening. The middle class is dying. People who could, a generation ago, follow a set of steps and not mess up and pretty much be guaranteed a life of modest comfort are now being cast to either direction of the yawning chasm between the rich and poor. Class mobility isn’t a myth if we’re talking about moving down.

But it’s not just the middle class that’s getting shat upon. The Bloomberg piece reports that, due to the lack of availability of middle income jobs, many people with college degrees who would otherwise be working in fields that required advanced education are taking jobs that don’t require college degrees — like Starbucks baristas. This pushes the least educated people down even further, leaving them fewer options for employment, and it effectively transforms an entire population of loan-ridden college grads into lifelong debtslaves.

On the bright side, though, the new middle class gets one free entre per shift.


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