‘If We Don’t Work, We Don’t Get Paid.’ How the Coronavirus Is Exposing Inequality Among America’s Workers
By Alana Semuels
The nature of their work presents a significant economic risk, too, says Autor. Many of the fastest-growing jobs are low-paid and operate on shift work—when customers aren’t shopping, workers aren’t getting hours. Some of the fastest-growing occupations in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are in-person jobs with low pay, including food preparation and serving workers, who make around $22,500 a year, and taxi drivers and chauffeurs, who make around $26,000. There are signs that companies that employ shift workers are in for a downturn: businesses such as Cedar Fair, which runs amusement parks, MGM Resorts, and Dave & Buster’s, all of which depend on people leaving their houses and spending money, hit 52-week lows on the stock market Tuesday. Already, many workers are struggling to find enough hours—four in 10 part-time workers prefer more hours of work than they currently have, according to a February report released by the Center for Law and Social Policy.
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