Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Service Jobs - Food-Accommodation

Accommodation and Food Services

Accommodation and Food Services jobs total 11.8 million in 2012. The accommodation part has traveler accommodations, not residential accommodation. Include hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, casino hotels, RV parks, campgrounds and rooming and boarding houses. Rooming and Boarding houses include dormitories, fraternity and sorority houses.

Establishments primarily engaged in preparing food to order for immediate consumption go in this sector as full and limited service restaurants but the key words are preparing food and immediate consumption. Food services have to have both and the definition also fits fast food outlets, cafeterias, pizza delivery, snack bars, takeout, catering, ice cream parlors, and beverage bars. Establishments primarily selling food prepared elsewhere and not packaged for immediate consumption are counted with grocery stores.

Accommodations have 15.4 percent, or 1.82 million of the jobs, where as foodservices has the other 84.6 percent, or 9.96 million of the jobs. However, other sectors have restaurant jobs. For example, a hotel could run a restaurant even though it is primarily engaged in running a hotel. There is one establishment with hotel workers and food service workers. The same hotel might lease their first floor to an independent restaurateur so there might be two establishments, a hotel and a restaurant. In the former the jobs are counted in the accommodation sub sector, and in the latter, food jobs are split between accommodation and food services.

Food service occupations are cooks, bartenders, hosts and hostesses, waiters and waitresses, counter attendants, bartenders, dishwashers and few jobs as drivers, and cashiers. These jobs are 90 percent of restaurant staffing and 25 percent of hotel, motel and accommodation staffing. Only about 80 to 81 percent of these jobs are actually in the food services sector with the rest scattered in accommodations, in health care where hospitals run food services, at schools which have cafeterias, at ball parks and theatres which run restaurants and sell fast food. Apocalypse

The accommodation industry has significant building and grounds maintenance work with 29 percent of jobs. Maids are 24 percent of hotel-motel employment; desk clerks have 12 percent of jobs. Managerial positions are barely 4 percent of employment in accommodations and food services and mostly confined to food service managers and lodging managers, but also gaming managers since casino hotel jobs are here.

Only a few jobs or occupations use college degree skills and not too many stay around to make restaurant work a career. The net separation rate for an occupation measures the percentage of new entrants needed to replace people who permanently leave an occupation. In restaurants net separations for waiter and waitress tend to be above 50 percent, and serving and counter attendants also have separation rates 50 percent and above. Those ages 16 to 24 work in restaurants but many leave for other occupations. Even so there are millions of jobs and they keep increasing. Add the 9.96 million jobs in restaurants mentioned above to the other food service workers in accommodations, schools, hospitals, retail stores or ball parks, museums and other recreation facilities and the total comes to a little over 11.5 million food service jobs.

Cooking used to be one of America’s biggest do it yourself occupations. Everyone can stay home and cook, but more and more we go out. In the production-marketing chain of food this helps our employment and probably more than most people realize. Start on the farm and let’s count America’s farmers. Next add all the jobs in pesticide, fertilizer and agricultural chemicals, and all of the jobs in agricultural implement manufacturing. Add in the jobs at farm supply wholesalers, and farm raw material wholesalers. Then move on to food manufacturing. Add all the manufacturing jobs milling, canning, freezing, bottling, refining, slaughtering, baking, brewing, distilling, fermenting and packaging. Add them to grocery store merchant wholesaler jobs and all the jobs at grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores and food stores. The total comes to 6.96 million jobs in 2012.

Worse, jobs from the farm to the supermarket continue to decline due to productivity growth and imports in the global economy. Restaurants are the only part of the food chain Americans can count on for new jobs. You may like to go to restaurants; you may need to go to restaurants, but America needs jobs, so now you know, you must go to restaurants. It’s your civic duty. Go out often.

Maybe a few get rich in the restaurant business but if we look at the wage data reported for the BLS occupational employment survey, then food services wages are dead last among America’s jobs with a median annual wage of $18,930 in May 2012, which is lower buying power compared to 2009 and 2002. For the 2009 median wage of $18,490 to have the same buying power in 2012 it would need to be $19,797, but instead it was $18,930, a 4.38 percent decrease in buying power. For the 2002 median wage of $15,240 to have the same buying power in 2012 it would need to be $19,454, but instead it was $18,930, a 2.69 percent decrease in buying power. The reported and published wages are supposed to include tip income, but that implies the managers reporting wages for the Occupational Employment Survey know what they are.

With a 115.3 million service jobs to divvy up, accommodation and food services employment gives us 11.8 million jobs, but that is only 8.8 percent of establishment employment. Accommodation and food services employment is growing faster than the national rate. We have to expect a relative increase in accommodation and food services in national employment. We only have 1 sector left to go; government with 10.4 million jobs.

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